A Lethal Mistake

January 20, 2009
“A Lethal Mistake”

The Emergency Room was packed to the gills on that holiday weekend. Memorial Day was Friday, and Saturday night had accidents galore. Young, handsome, and inexperienced Matthew Downy was very busy during his first shift as a doctor. He recently finished his residency and was now a real-time doctor. This fast-paced, high-stress time in the ER was what he lived for. Matt had barely stood in one place all night long. Nurses had constantly been yelling for him since his shift had started at nine. It was now just past two in the morning. Matt was counting down the minutes until the clock hit three, and he could sleep for what he hoped would be a very long time.

The hour left of his shift seemed to fly by, and he was gathering his things to leave when one of the receptionists caught him.
“Dr. Kerry got in a car wreck and can’t make it in for second shift,” she said with questioning eyes.
William Kerry, a well-respected doctor in the hospital, had been working in the Emergency Room for twenty-four years and hadn’t had one case of malpractice. Matt knew it would give him brownie points if he helped out his mentor.
“Could you please cover his shift?” Amanda, the receptionist, asked, as she batted her long eyelashes.
Even though Dr. Downy was sleep-deprived, he knew taking Dr. Kerry’s shift was the right thing to do. Plus, Amanda was rather cute, and this could surely improve his chances of getting a date with her. So, he answered with a quick, “Of course. Second shift ends at ten, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, and I promise to let William know how helpful you are! You seem to be following right in his footsteps. Thanks so much, Matt.” Smiling, Amanda turned and headed to the front desk.
Matt prepared himself for his second shift of the night. With the receptionist’s cute smile etched in his mind, he knew the shift would go by quickly. He went back into the chaotic ER flooded with patients.
“At least I’m getting broken in,” he thought to himself.
By the end of the shift, no words could describe how terribly exhausted Dr. Downy was. At ten on the dot, he walked out of the ER. Then a nurse called his name; one more patient needed care. Matt mumbled under his breath, “What now?”
Drew Albert was in desperate need of attention. He had been in a terrible accident and had suffered head trauma. Drew had severe blood loss and was going into shock. Matt rushed to stabilize the man, and it turned out to be one of the simpler situations he had dealt with all night long.
Dr. Downy let out a sigh of relief as he walked in to the room where most of the medicine was kept. Matt needed to get Drew on blood thickener. This would help to clot the blood around his lacerations and minimize further bleeding. As Matt picked up a fluid bag to put through Drew’s intravenous drip, he closed his eyes and leaned against the wall.
“I could probably fall asleep right here if I wanted to,” Matt thought to himself. He let his eyelids stay shut for a few minutes. Then he picked up the IV bag and went to the patient’s room. He hooked up the bag and gave the patient instructions to rest.
“Drew, you are one lucky guy. The injuries you acquired are minimal, but they could’ve been life threatening or maybe even fatal. You should recover in no time, though.”
“I hope that’s true, Doc. I have a big party to go to at the end of the month.” Drew replied.
“Oh you’ll definitely be there. Make sure you RSVP.” Dr. Downy assured his patient.
Matt then walked out of the room and to the nurses’ station. He told them Drew would be fine and not to disturb him until the afternoon. Drew needed his sleep so his body could start producing blood in order to replace what he had lost. Matt was finally free, and he headed home. On the drive, he congratulated himself. It had been a successful, accident-free night. He was sure there would be plenty more to follow.
After a quick shower, the young doctor practically fell into bed. He was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Matt was able to get a straight nine hours of deep sleep. When he awoke, his bleary eyes saw the red light on the answering machine blinking impatiently at him. But, Matt was too groggy to care. He didn’t bother checking his cell phone for messages either. It had died long ago at the hospital, and Matt didn’t have the energy to find his charger.
Dr. Downy managed to start a pot of coffee and flipped to the news. A cameraman stood outside the hospital, retelling the big headline. He listened to the story about a young man’s death by blood loss. A malpractice lawsuit was being looked into. It seemed a doctor gave the patient the complete opposite medication of what was needed. As Matt’s senses caught up to him, he couldn’t seem to breathe. He suddenly realized the awful nightmare he had just awoken to. His coffee cup shattered on the floor as Matt fainted.

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unknown user said...
Jul. 30, 2015 at 12:40 am
That was beautiful, well put and heart warming
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