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MEMPHIS, TN – Dr. Beverly Mascinoni, the on-call anesthesiologist last night, was ecstatic to get a call at 2 AM to place an IV.  When her pager went off, the first thing that popped into her head was, “Please let this be a request to start an IV.”

IV catheter
“Please let that page at 2am be for an IV start”

Sure enough it was.  The patient was a tough stick and had been poked and prodded by nearly everyone in the hospital, including seasoned NICU and ICU nurses, who the floor nurses had to beg with apple pie to come attempt the IV.  The enthusiastic medical intern tried his best, but realistically there was no hope from the start.  Conceding, the intern decided to page anesthesia.

Dr. Mascinoni sprung into action and flew down to the medicine ward, bright-eyed and excited to do her part.  Immediately upon entering the patient’s room, all available staff, including the intern (probably sleeping due to new ACGME rules), vanished and there were no IV supplies laid out within a 50-ft. radius of the patient.

That didn’t bother Dr. Mascinoni one bit since she had brought her own IV supplies and wheeled the ultrasound in all by herself.  She placed the IV with some difficulty several minutes later and secured the IV with tape.  Although not disclosing it to others at the time, she intentionally left some of the tape up on the dressing, hoping that it would be ripped out later.

Like clockwork, a second page was sent at 3 AM requesting her services to place another IV.

“I was so ecstatic,” said Mascinoni.  “My plan worked and I was able to head down to place another IV!  One more and I’ll have a hat trick tonight.”

After placing the second IV around 3:30 AM, her luck continued.  General surgery was paging for a wash-out that needed to go to the OR.

“Ahh, this upcoming 4 AM wash-out will be the icing on the cake for this call night.  Oh and the patient is morbidly obese, has a difficult airway, and has a history of malignant hyperthermia… Perfect!” she continued as she pushed the ICU bed with too many IV lines to count.  “Can’t wait to tangle these up!”

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