Intern Inadvertently Orders Negative Pressure Ventilation; Patient Placed in Iron Lung

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DALLAS, TX – While placing orders on rounds, intern TooMany Orders clicked over to the Respiratory section in the hospital’s surprisingly thorough EMR. The patient was having difficulty breathing, and he needed to place an order for positive pressure ventilation (PPV).

Under “ventilation” orders, there was a very long drop down menu. He clicked what he thought was PPV, and signed the order.

“I mean, why would our EMR have an option for ordering an iron lung?” Dr. Orders later explained to the Gomerblog team. “I didn’t expect that ‘negative’ pressure ventilation would be a valid order.”

Soon after placing the order for NPV, he received 57 pages from respiratory therapy, including the following:

“Are you sure about this vent order? Call back!!”
“For real?”
“Have you run this by your upper?”
“Is your attending in the building?”

Dr. Orders didn’t think much of these pages; he received questions like this every day.

Then, while he was in conference, the pages became more bizarre:

“Are you sure about this? -Hospital Historical Society”
“There is only one other guy in the city who uses one of these, we’ll get in touch with his team.”
“OMG this is so heavy. Why do you hate me so much. -Nurse Patty”

Within the hour, the patient was placed in an iron lung obtained from the hospital’s museum exhibit.

By the time the team saw the patient on afternoon rounds, the patient had reasonably adjusted to life in the iron lung. “This isn’t too bad, actually,” said the patient. “At least there’s no masks or tubing on my face!”

Dr. Orders’ attending had fainted, falling onto the floor.

The patient, however, had one more question: “Now how come I haven’t been served lunch yet?”

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