MIAMI, FL – Mercy Hospital made a decision to fail Dr. Andy Oppenheimer yesterday after he once again forgot to put total parenteral nutrition (TPN) orders in by 10 AM. The parenteral nutrition patients on his service continually “starved” to death daily or were given a mediocre substitute that would always throw the patient’s electrolytes “way off.”
“TPN orders are a pain in the ass,” says hospitalist Dr. Wendy Bakers. “However, the pharmacy demands that they are in by 10 AM and we have to abide by their rules. We had no choice but to fail Dr. Oppenheimer.” If TPN orders don’t make it to the pharmacy by 10 AM, they refuse to mix the solution and the patient would have to wait until the following day.
Fellow residents chimed in, “We don’t know why Oppenheimer just didn’t assign the task to his interns or medical students. Just pick a ‘TPN tern’ and get on with it.” Many residents use TPN orders as a way to ‘teach’ younger residents about medicine, similar to Tom Sawyer painting a fence.
The hospital nutritionist, who typically checks the charts and makes sure TPN orders are correct, would usually help Dr. Oppenheimer but she is on maternity leave. The pathology department submitted the complaint after having an increased amount of work lately.