Room 37 is the unluckiest room in the emergency department at my hospital. It seems like every time I am assigned to the rooms 36, 37, and 38, the day turns into a disaster. The most memorable events from the past six months:

  • There was the psychotic patient who attempted to attack me before having to be tackled and held down by no fewer than 4 security guards so we could sedate him.
  • Or the woman who had a miscarriage and was given an abortion pill so she could expel the products of conception and almost bled to death. Over the hour it took for the surgical team to be prepped for her emergency D&C, I had to give her 4 units of packed RBCs, 2 units of frozen plasma, four bags of saline, and a unit of platelets. In other words, we more than replaced her entire blood volume.
  • There was the patient who had a respiratory infection that was aggravated by the fibroids that were caused by his previous COVID infection. I gave him his antibiotic (Cefepime) and within a minute he was deep into an anaphylactic reaction. I had to run to the medication room and grab the Epi kit.

Still, none of that compares to the last time I was covering room 37. Things had been going smoothly to that point. I was six hours into my shift, and things were great. I sent my patient from room 37 upstairs, and received my next. She had come into the ED complaining of abdominal pain. She was writhing around, moaning in pain, and covered in what looked like a raging case of ringworm. I needed to get an IV so I could draw her blood, give her some pain medication, and give IV access for the CT team, who were going to need that access so they could inject her with the contrast dye. She was thrashing about as I went to start the IV, and moved just as the needle broke the skin. That needle went into her arm, came out, and immediately went through my glove and into my left index finger.

Oh shit.

I pulled my glove off, and my punctured finger was coated in a mixture of her blood and my own. After more than 35 years working in the medical field, I finally received the most common nursing injury- a contaminated needle stick.

I reported it to the charge nurse, and his only comment was that I needed to stop goofing off and move patients through my section because we had almost ten people in the waiting room. So I went and found the charge nurse for the next section over, who gave me the needlestick hotline phone number.

Within two hours, they had tested patient’s blood and determined that she didn’t have Hepatitis or HIV, then tested my own to ensure the same. They also tested my blood to make sure that I still had a positive titer for Hepatitis B.

The rest of my shift went to shit. By the time I left at the end of my shift, I was ready for the weekend to start, because I had had enough. When the weekend came, I got to spend it at employee health. So much for one of my days off.

Categories: Uncategorized


Noway2 · April 15, 2024 at 9:53 am

Sounds like you could about make a horror movie about room #37.

Bad Dancer · April 15, 2024 at 10:39 am

In a perfect world the story would end by you being allowed one free whack at the first charge nurse. Glad to hear things sound okay so far also good Lord that was a long run of safety.

Ragnarok Gotterdamerung · April 15, 2024 at 10:59 am

Dayam you need a refreshing adult beverage.
Hang tough it only gets worse under Brandon.
Clown World on X has a vid of power company truck driver who gets a muzzle in his face at a Burger King parking lot.
He backs up and takes the guy out with the truck then drives through cul-de-sac backyards to escape.
A world driven insane by Marxist Materialism and X is reporting that Herr Klaus is hospitalized.
There isn’t going to be any 100 million plus killed by communism this time as people have about had it.

Aesop · April 15, 2024 at 11:27 am

My sympathies.
I sweated potential Hep B and HIV for a weekend and taking prophylactic meds until the thrashing homeless douche who bumped a needle into my own hand’s labs came back negative for both.

Think happy thoughts.

IcyReaper · April 15, 2024 at 12:51 pm

As a side question, is there any screening process for when someone gets blood whether the blood is from a vaxxed or non vaxxed donor? Not real sure how to ask this clearly,sorry. Is the blood screened for covid shots residue? So if you aren’t vaxxed you do’nt get vaxxed blood?

    Divemedic · April 15, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    No, that is not one of the things that is screened for.

    Aesop · April 16, 2024 at 11:21 am

    Nor likely ever will be.

      IcyReaper · April 16, 2024 at 4:10 pm

      Sorry to be a pain but I dont see anyone around that trustable to ask this.So if someone has gotten the vax shots and boosters then they give blood and the person getting it wasnt vaxxed. Are the unvaxxed now technically vaxxed? Are they suceptable to any issues the shots may cause?
      This might be a good blog topic. You see folks talking about not getting the shots and never will, no issues with that. But if they get sick and the blood they get isn’t screened as to vax status then whats the difference?

        Divemedic · April 16, 2024 at 6:14 pm

        AFAIK, the COVID 19 vaccine is a non-replicating vaccine. That is, it contains mRNA that causes muscle tissue to express a spike protein that causes immune response inside our bodies. This in turn programs T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes to “remember” what cells infected by COVID “look” like. These vaccines do not enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA (genetic material) is located, so it cannot change or influence our DNA makeup. This means that, to the best of my knowledge, the vaccine isn’t “contagious.”

        The real issue with the vaccine is the high number of adverse reactions. It’s a risk versus benefit calculation. Now that we know that the vaccine generally doesn’t do anything, I don’t see where the (low) risk of a reaction is worth the (no) benefit that you get from receiving it.

        Each person is different, so YMMV.

jimmyPx · April 15, 2024 at 7:44 pm

That charge nurse is an ahole, I’ll bet money that if HE had gotten stuck with that needle he’d be acting differently.
That’s deadly serious, my father in law’s first wife was a nurse at the prison and got a contaminated needle stick and unfortunately the patient had Hep C. This was 30 years ago but she fought it but it proved fatal.

FYI that charge nurse at minimum could get written up or fired. At the hospital I work at, safety issues like that are taken very seriously. What would happen if you had accidently infected her with something — BIG BIG lawsuit.

ModernDayJeremiah · April 15, 2024 at 8:04 pm

I bet you didn’t get paid for the time spent at “Employee Health”.

WallPhone · April 15, 2024 at 11:36 pm

There really is something weird about 37.

    Divemedic · April 16, 2024 at 6:20 am

    That video was surprisingly fascinating

    Daniel K Day · April 16, 2024 at 11:23 am

    Yes, it was. Thanks.

Comments are closed.