Thursday, February 26, 2009

To File Away Under Crazy Lab Values

We get a surprising amount of DKA in our ER.  As far as I know, we are not located near any candy manufacturing plants or orange groves, so I'm not sure why we get so many patients with sugars out of control.  I know in a previous ER that I worked at, we had one patient who came by once or twice a week with a sugar of 500, bringing new meaning to the term "uncontrolled hyperglycemia."  I never did find out what happened to him.

But now that I'm in this new ER, I have found that my blood glucose monitor is very friendly.  It seems like a day doesn't go by that the machine doesn't tell me "HI", to which I always respond, "HOW ARE YOU" but rarely ever get any kind of a meaningful answer.  Usually when I get a result like that, I can count on a call from the lab about 30 minutes later to report a critical high sugar of 650 or even 700.

But the other day took the cake for me when I got word that a patient had a sugar level of 1479.

I later learned that what had happened was that he was supposed to get a liter of blood, but instead was transfused a liter of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup.



Jake Bullet said...

Okay, I have to ask.

Is the entire story (1479 BG +syrup) a funny tale?

Or was there really a pt with a sugar in the 1400's and you just added a joke.

Cuz that guy outta be dead if the sugar was really that high.

Braden said...

The sugar really was 1479.

And he really did get an infusion of chocolate syrup.

Okay, he didn't get any chocolate syrup, but wouldn't that be the coolest medical error ever?

Prisca: said...

HOW CAN PEOPLE WALK AROUND LIKE THAT??? I just dont understand how the body can handle such abuse...

Wow. Wow. Wow.

annahannah said...

get out of here!! you should tell ryan this.

Curdie said...

I hope these people aren't children because I'd be taking that large can of hersey's syrup upside that parent's head.