Sunday, January 15, 2012

Unusual medical condition

Patient: "Hey doc, can I ask you a question?"

Me: "Sure."

Patient: "This friend of mine went to the hospital--"

(Because I have nothing better to do besides answer medical questions about people I never met...)

Patient: "And my friend was telling me that when they tried to draw his blood, there was no blood. They couldn't get out a drop. Then they got some expert to try to draw the blood and they couldn't do it either! And they told my friend that he has no blood left. Like, no blood in his whole body. Does that sound right to you?"

Me: "No."

Patient: "Well, I didn't think so either. But they couldn't get any blood out of him. And he can't walk."

Me: "Without blood, you can't live."

Patient: "Yeah, you're probably right. He probably at least had a few drops."


  1. "It means your friend is a zombie. I'd stay away from him."

  2. It really scares me that patients don't have "basic" medical knowledge.

  3. Back when I was in the Army, I went on sick call to avoid doing a 5 mile run. I also felt sort of lousy. They took my blood pressure, looked alarmed and keep getting higher and higher ranked people to take it. Once it got to the major (a MD, not a medic) he said I had no blood pressure and my red cells were just sloshing from one side of my body to another. He had them give me 3 liters of fluids and gave me paper work for 5 days off duty.

    I suspect you blood draw case was this sort of statement.

  4. What's even more surprising is that I've heard nurses ask me questions not much more advanced than this. That's not a knock on nurses. Some nurses are awesome. I would rather have some nurses take care of me than most MDs. Some nurses are just plain scary.

  5. One time, when the phlebotomist stuck KayTar for a blood draw, nothing came out, and she calmly said, "No blood? Well, I guess I'm dead." She was 5. LOL.

  6. The thing I love most about this story (and so many similar ones) is how people rationalise the logic so they can still believe the sensational 'story' :)

    I recently had a very lovely chatty elderly lady in the ED. She was feeling absolutely normal and asymptomatic, but had noticed a few irregular heart beats, and her daughter had urged her to just check it out. Her Hb level came back at 3g/dl, yet she had so much energy, I could hardly keep her in the bed long enough to pump in a few units of blood.

    Maybe it is all part of a conspiracy theory, haha? Now that would make a great sensational story!