Jeremy Samuel Faust, an ER doctor at Brigham and Women's, reports on the reactions he's gotten when he's asked that since Jan. 20.
Saw Slate, immediately closed the window. Without reading the article once can guess which way this will slant.
The article was very tongue-in-cheek and quite well written. It was largely apolitical and just had a fun story to tell.
and nothing to do with the author being an ER doc in a region that went 80+% against the Orange Marauder.
That said, if I suffered a traumatic brain injury and was surprised to hear the real answer to the POTUS question, I'd like to think I'd react like Doc Brown hearing the news about Reagan.
my jigawatts are yuge, ask all my friends, they'll tell you, i have great jigawatts
I thought they stopped asking the President question since we had two Bush's in office which can lead to some confussion.
I like this word. Sounds like a Bushism.
then they also asked me to recite the alphabet backwards, after waking up in july after going to the ER in may.
fired that doctor immediately and told her not to return
also, adam, saying they ask confused patients who the president is is like saying that police only administer breathalyzers to drunk drivers.
edit: oh yeah. she also asked me the date. like i'd have any fucking clue.
But scum is right. They ask patients the date to determine whether or not they are confused.
I got these questions after brain surgery.
Someone in a coma or sedated for three months would have no frigging clue.
Their "wrong" answer would be meaningless as to their state of mind because they would lack a reference to be confused about!
When I went through some bouts of hepatic encephalopathy, I had numerous opportunities to get these questions and coughed up some humorous answers.
I remember saying that POTUS was Michelle Obama once.
However, the other seemingly reasonable questions (location, date) shouldn't be used casually. People in emergency rooms sometimes get moved around to different facilities while unconscious. It's quite believable that they don't know where they are, even though they are mentally capable of it. Imagine someone moves you in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, then wakes you up and asks where you are.
The date is even worse. I don't even know the date right now without checking. Now imagine you're in a room without windows, with no view of a clock or calendar, surrounded 24/7 by many different people who may see you only once. You've been there for three days, one unconscious. You don't have your phone, or the battery's drained.
Good luck with that date thing.
Most doctors have a clue, but those just running through a checklist can come up with dangerous conclusions. These questions are the primary methods to determine if you're suffering from delirium or dementia.
I imagine they are looking for serious errors like saying July in February. If I told them March 5th today, I would hope they wouldn't ship me off for more invasive treatment.
I thought it better to ask for the month, since that has built in ambiguity (and being off by a couple days is understandable).
With the date, I had nurses and doctors correct me for being off by one day. Not helpful.
Season also generally works, except New England....
I answered Berlin, 1932, and they let me go for outpatient care.
and the ER doctor asked me if this was related to a car accident or work related. Lawyers even ruined a trip to the ER.
When I was in EMS I usually asked patients if they knew what month it was. Asking for an exact date can be hard for those of us that are AOx3.
My favorite response to that question was "I don't believe in months".
I've occasionally gone to do paid psych studies like at McLean and been asked the standard questions like where we are. Some things in the Metro area are so close together that it takes some thinking to know what city I might be in. Really tough at Tufts which is split by town boundaries.
Then say Tufts.
I like to know what town I'm in at all times, but I'm a geography nerd.
I live very close to Tufts, so I pride myself on knowing what town I'm in (and cringe when the speaker says to the guest "Welcome to Medford!" when I know that Cohen Auditorium is actually in Somerville).
Another trick question is "what floor of the building are we on," when asked at Deaconness, some of whose buildings are on a steep hillside, with the main entrance on the 4th floor....
With that said, if you were at Tufts and answered either "Medford," or "Somerville," I'm sure you'd be considered to be oriented with regard to place.
They usually don't care about 100% exactness on that one, just I hate to be wrong... :)
I found the article wonderfully light hearted and fun, But I have to wonder if it would have been posted if Hillary had won. Would it Adam?
Maybe you should ask if it would have been written if that were the case.
I accompanied a friend to a local ER when she had an epileptic seizure. The intern attending us asked her "Sarah, what is your name?". She started laughing so hard at the inanity of the question her seizure subsided.
Apparently sometimes laughter *is* a decent medication.
When I was a new driver, I got into a car crash. My passenger hit the windshield with his head (no seat belt, and I have no defense of any of this) which left him with a bloody gash on his head. When EMTs arrived, they asked him his birthday. After providing it, he asked "how would you know when my birthday is? I mean, I could have said anything."
Can I have my amnesia back, please?
Tonight on Eye-Witness News: A man who's been in a coma for 23 years wakes up.
(In a hospital room) Do Sonny and Cher still have that stupid show?
No, she won an Oscar, and he's a congressman.
Good night! (he dies)
Some years ago (out of an abundance of concern for the health of our readers, I prefer not to say how many) I was asked the president question just prior to having my blood pressure measured. The nurse darted out to grab a physician and I thought I heard her say something like "I've never seen one go so high before !" Somehow, I managed to survive.
And by this, I mean this (the first rule of UHub is always link UHub), the following happened:
When I woke up:
Someone in the ICU: You finished the Boston Marathon!
Ari: What was my time?
Nurse/PA: What's your name?
Ari: Ari Ofsevit
N/PA: Who is the president?
Ari: Barack Obama! [yeah, it was better then]
N/PA: What's today's date?
Ari (incredulously): It's Marathon Monday. April 18.
After those answers they were happy.
Ari ran a ~3-hour marathon. Wow, congrats.
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