LOUISVILLE, KY – Alissa Morgan returned to see her primary care doctor (PCP), Dr. Mel Oberlin, today to go over her routine blood work, and both were dumbfounded when the results came back positive for urine.
“So… you… apparently have urine in your blood,” Oberlin explained, obviously very confused by the findings. His eyes were locked on the screen as he slowly scrolled through the labs results one by one. “Your sodium? Urine. Your kidney and liver function? Urine. Your CBC? Looks like that’s consistent with urine as well.”
There was an awkward silence. Oberlin grabbed his chin while Morgan started scratching her head.
“I know they collected my blood, a phlebotomist drew it from here,” said Morgan as she pointed at her left antecubital space.
“Are you sure the phlebotomist didn’t make you… pee in a cup?” Oberlin asked.
“Of course not!” Morgan replied, slightly offended. “Why would they do that?”
“I’m not trying to be insulting, I’m just as confused as you are,” Oberlin responded, trying to brainstorm what possible conditions could lead to urine in the blood. Nothing. He need to know more. “When you menstruate, what comes out: blood or urine?”
“Or if you accidentally cut yourself?”
At this point in the conversation, any health care professional would have concluded that this could be attributed to lab error. Why would routine blood work show urine? That’s just preposterous. Someone must’ve processed urine instead of blood. As preposterous as that sounds, it’s still more likely than a cardiovascular system filled with pee.
“Do you think it’s lab error?” Morgan asked Oberlin, trying to help the hamster in her doctor’s brain find the wheel.
“No, that’s a cop out explanation,” Oberlin replied, realizing he might have a case report on his hands. “The Curious Case of Urine in the Blood,” Oberlin said out loud for himself and Morgan to hear. “This is just so fascinating. This could be the greatest medical case of all time!”
Before Oberlin could ask for her permission to write up this case report, Morgan had left his office, hellbent on finding a brand new PCP.