ER patient arrested
by Kevin Pezzi, MD
An ER patient being seen for some psychiatric reason was so desperate for a cigarette that he climbed through a ceiling ventilation duct and tunneled to an adjacent room. Once there, he stuck his head into the room and asked that patient, also being evaluated for some psychiatric reason, for a cigarette. The second patient was first surprised, then angry. The two began arguing, which attracted attention from the emergency room staff. They called 911 and had the first patient arrested.
When I heard this story from a friend of mine who works in that ER, I was happy to learn that not all hospitals are pushovers in terms of tolerating outrageous behavior from patients. Most hospitals that I worked in put up with all sorts of misbehavior. Once the local riffraff figures out that they have the green light to act out, they do exactly that.
For more examples—and more extreme examples—of ER patients gone wild, read my free books of ER stories: True Emergency Room Stories and Love & Lust in the ER. Used copies of the first book sometimes sell on Amazon for as high as $80. The edition that I am giving away (the second edition) is arguably even better than the first one, because it includes an epilogue that presents some of the fallout from the first edition, the most unusual of which was being offered the chance to go on a blind date with Katie Couric (now the anchor of the CBS Evening News). I also expanded some of the stories and included follow-up information. If you have a friend who might appreciate either book, you can send a copy to them as a present.