By Popular Overdose Demand: Activated Charcoal Smoothie at Your Local ER

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HARTFORD, CT – Get those Press-Ganey scores up with the new Activated Charcoal Smoothie! With the number of intentional and unintentional overdoses skyrocketing across the nation, the ER at local St. Indignant’s Health Care System has developed a novel approach to make the common oral medication more palatable.

The move, lauded by both hospital administrators and patients, aims to improve the taste of activated charcoal- a medication utilized to limit the effect of overdose in cases where pumping the patient’s stomach may not be effective or deemed to be too much like work.

“The charcoal works well,” explains Dr. Don Fellner, “but it tastes like ass, uh… can I say ass? and um, makes it hard for the staff to administer.  If I patient refuses to drink it, we’re forced to put a tube down their nose and into their stomach to medicate which often causes nausea and vomiting and really pisses off the housekeeping staff.”

The solution became obvious to RN Paul Shaheen after a recent visit to a local smoothie stand. “I was amazed what kind of nonsense they could sneak into my drink, stuff that was actually good for me.  I thought, there has to be a way to profit by harnessing this delicious power.”

The idea was overheard by a hospital administrator sneaking past the open door on the way to a Thursday morning tee time. “I knew it was genius the moment I heard it” says hospital COO Christopher C. Ash. “Those patients are often admitted and thus have to complete surveys which directly affect our Medicare/Medicaid compensation. We must please them at all costs and our scores are up, UP, UP!”

Since the program’s inception two months ago, the ER has served up over 4 dozen delicious charcoal smoothies catered to the specific tastes and allergies of each patient.  “Oh, they’re amazing” an unidentified patient tells me during my tour of the ER.  “I really only came here for a sandwich, maybe a norco, but thought quick at triage and told them I took twenty random pills I found on the sidewalk. Within 10 minutes, I’m sipping on a Charcoalsicle dream. And, a little bit of this (the patient partially exposes a small flask from his pocket) really sets it off!”

As for Shaheen, he hasn’t received any compensation for his groundbreaking idea.  “The hospital lawyers showed up and said that since I clearly came up with the idea at work, the idea was St. Indignant’s property and I would receive no compensation. But, they did approve the vacation request for my birthday two months from now so I have that going for me, which is nice.”

  • Erik Schunn RN, EMT-P, OMG

    Erik Schunn, RN EMT-P OMG, was born an orphan and at age 5 found a home under the bench seat of an ambulance that he found posting in a nearby parking lot. Due to staffing shortages, he was pushed into service as a junior EMT at age 9 and has been working in the medical field ever since. Erik would go on to secure his Paramedic and RN degrees and currently floats between the ER and ICU of the venerable St. Indignant's Medical Center.

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