Breaking: Turns Out the Patient’s Name Really is John Doe

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John Doe
The patient’s name tag

NASHVILLE, TN – Well, it was bound to happen one day: members of the intensive care unit (ICU) team at Vanderbilt University have realized that their comatose patient assigned the name John Doe until his true identity could be confirmed is now actually confirmed to have the name John Doe.

“What are the ODDS?!!” said ICU fellow Timothy Prince, smacking himself in the head in disbelief.  “Seriously?!  What are the odds?!”


It is not uncommon for health care systems to assign the name John Doe as a placeholder for a male patient when they are unable to identify his true identity due to the patient being critically ill or comatose, the patient not carrying any identifying information like a driver’s license or smartphone, and the patient not having any family or friends immediately accessible.

“Yes, yes, my name is in fact John Doe,” the patient formerly known and actually known to be John Doe told Gomerblog shortly after being extubated.  “Actually, my real given name is Jonathan Doe, but please… Please call me John.”

According to Doe’s medical team, Doe was found down by bystanders after going for a walk around his neighborhood.  EMS was called.  In the Vanderbilt ER, Doe was found to have a ST elevation MI.  Under the placeholder name John Doe he underwent cardiac catheterization, a stent was placed, and thankfully he is in stable condition.

“When he started to come to, we asked him his name and that’s when he told us,” critical care attending Mary Bolton explained.  “At first we didn’t believe him.  But as he told us more and more about his life, we were shocked.  Not only because he was going to make a full recovery, but that someone in this world is actually named John Doe.”  John Doe will likely be transferred out to the ICU in the next 24-48 hours.

“I can’t thank my team enough,” Doe expressed with sincere gratitude.  “I can’t wait to see my family, especially my wife again.  Have you met her yet?  You’d like her.  Her name is Jane.”

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