Thursday, February 14, 2008

Concierge service AND medical care

I was nearly out the door today (quiet schedule due to the weather and Valentine's Day) when my middle-aged patient dropped in. I treat her for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which are well-controlled. This afternoon, however, she began experiencing chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Her blood pressure was up but her pulse below sixty. She was nervous and breathing rapidly. On EKG, she had evidence of a lack of oxygen to the front wall of her heart. To the ER, I said, Now! But I've got a brisket in the oven at home, she countered, and no one to turn it off. It hardly seemed prudent to let her drive home through the cold to save the brisket at the expense of her heart. So I dropped her off at the ER, then went to her townhouse and turned off the oven, leaving the brisket to cool on the counter.

The report so far is so good--her cardiac enzyme levels do not indicate any damage, but her story so suspicious for angina that they will keep her overnight and stress test her tomorrow. My only regret? The thought of that delicious smelling brisket spoiling uneaten on her kitchen counter.

8 comments:

janeywan said...

Wish you had been the doctor my mother had the night they sent her packing in a cab at 1 am in the morning.

A ten minute drive took 4 hours. What hospital did that Aurora South.

What a wonderful caring thing for you to do. Wish more doctors were like you!

rlbates said...

How nice of you! Did you cut off just a "taste" of the brisket? Or maybe a small piece fell off that you got to taste?

JeanMac said...

You def. go above and beyond the call.

Elaine said...

Ahh what a nice thing to do. Since she was being admitted overnight you should've gone back and got the roast :-)

Dr. Smak said...

Now THAT'S what I call service.

I wonder if a -25 modifier would let you upcode for the brisket...there's gotta be an ICD-9 code somewhere that you could use. Does "roast" count as a 3rd degree burn?

kenju said...

I am impressed! I cannot imagine any doctor I know doing that.

janemariemd said...

That is so cool! Brings new meaning to the term "coordination of care" in those blasted CPT code definitions.

Mauigirl said...

Aw, too bad the brisket went to waste! Hope the patient was OK.