A True ER Episode

This is a guest post from Gim, medical student extraordinaire. Here to talk about random happenings in the emergency room. – Flisha

As a medical clerk assigned in the surgery department, I’ve had my fair share of funny anecdotes. Most of these involve patients who come in for a medico-legal certificate.

This certificate is used to document injuries a person/patient has sustained. This could then be used to verify the veracity of the patient’s injuries should he/she wish to file a case in court.

A typical case would involve a woman asking for a certificate so she could sue her abusive husband. The husband then shows up a few minutes afterward likewise asking for a certificate so that he could sue his wife. Some people even show up asking for a paternity test, something that occurs after a husband finds out his wife is cheating on him, which causes him to actually doubt that his 3-year old son is (biologically) his. The wife of course denies it and a violent argument ensues with both of them inevitably ending up in the ER with bruises and a black eye.

One particularly funny incident involves a young couple. It was around an hour past midnight when a young guy came in holding a blood-soaked handkerchief over his forearm. He was accompanied by a teary-eyed and distraught young lady who lovingly supported him and held his good hand in hers.

After I (the doctor in charge) had calmed the woman somewhat, I gently peeled away the handkerchief on the guy’s arm to reveal a six-inch gash that was bleeding profusely. I told them that I would have to suture the wound, then I asked what happened. The guy answered that he was stabbed. Where, I asked, and by whom? At this point he fixed me with a curious gaze, pointed at the woman accompanying him and said: She did. At this point the woman wailed and apologized over and over to the guy while lovingly stroking his cheek.

As I proceeded to close the wound, I asked if he wanted a medico-legal certificate. No, he says. Then almost as an afterthought added, I’ll save it for when she tries to kill me again.