Patient in ED Knows Nothing About Medical History, Surgeries, or Medications


SAN JOSE, CA – When Dr. Anderson, a seasoned emergency room attending, went into room 14 late last night, he experienced a first in his long distinguished medical career.  While getting a history and physical, it occurred to Dr. Anderson that the patient knew next to nothing about his health.

emergency department
“hmm, patient knows…well nothing at all..please see EHR for record”

“I’ve never had a patient before that didn’t know a thing about their medical history, I was dumbfounded and confused.  Not only did he not know which medications he was on and their doses, but had no idea which surgery he has had and when they were.  He didn’t even know his allergies!”

Patient Ralph Brown, 48 years old, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had been having abdominal pain that was progressing for roughly 30 days “give or take a month” per the patient.  When interviewed, Mr. Brown reports, “Well, I figured that 1 AM on a Sunday morning was the best time to come in, seeing as it’s been going on for a little while.  I’m far too busy during the week and the 9-5 hours doesn’t fit with my schedule.  I didn’t want to bother my primary care physician, whom I haven’t seen in 15 years, with something like this.  During the week I have poker night and bingo night, so this seemed like the best time.  The ER is the logical place to go for a problem that has been going on for a long time.”

Reports of these so-called “know nothing” patients have been popping up across the country, although they are still very few and far between.  “We had a presentation of this type of patient at the last conference, but I never thought in my life I would get to see one, almost like a malignant hyperthermia case for anesthesiologists.  Some people laughed at the presenter, called him a sensationalist and an exaggerator.  Boy, was he right.”

With plans to write up this surprisingly-odd patient in a case report in the works, Dr. Anderson sent a resident and a medical student into the room to see if they could glean any more information about this enigma.

After leaving room 14 so flabbergasted and astounded that someone could know so little about their health, Dr. Anderson checked into the triage desk for a chest pain rule out. With positive troponins, he went straight to the cath lab, and after 2 stents is expected to be ok.