Dude, I'm waiting for the day. Hopefully I'll be gone by the time we have to start CPR in the waiting room. But we've had a couple false alarms in the mean time.
How about the drunk girl whose mom decided she was dead? Yeah, as opposed to calling 911, mom sure did scoop her early 20 something daughter up and throw her in the car when she became unresponsive. She, um, monitored (?) her on the way to the ER, during which time her pulse became "weak" multiple times. Mom then initiated compressions, until daughter woke up. When she would drift off, mom would initiate compressions again. Repeat the steps above until they reached the ER, when mom ran frantically into the waiting room screaming that they were doing CPR in the car. Poor newer nurse at the desk that night believed her, paged it overhead, stretchers were rolled out to the car until everyone got out there and... yeah. Dr. Muscles, who is already high strung anyway, had a total shit fit when the girl got back to the room and the staff cancelled the code blue and activated code drunk. Okay, great, how about a couple saline boluses.. hello.. ah, nope, you're already walking away. Luckily I was charge, Dr. Muscles likes me, and the situation was diffused. Well, up until ER BFF accidentally let on her feelings about the situation while giving report to the oncoming nurse. It went something like... "Yeah, so they were having trouble waking her up at home, and then momm initiated comppressions? And...yeah" (add WTF shrug and wide eyes into the mix) when mom chimed in "I SURE DID!" Yup, I guess she still probably thinks she saved her daughter's life, as opposed to doing a modified sternal rub. MMKay, thanks for choosing Hood Hospital.
Then the other day, some girl fakes a syncopal episode at the triage desk. Yeah, it happens about once a week anyway, but this time some random patient runs up to catch her whilst yelling "CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE!", eliciting blank stares from the staff. Another patient chimes in. "C'mon you guys, code blue!" Everyone quieted down considerably when the ammonia caps were deployed. Guys. You have GOT to stop watching Grey's Anatomy.
I think the foolishness people pull in the ER is so foreign to the average person that they assume anyone who falls down has actually passed out. Very rarely does this ever actually happen. Someone decided to play this game the other day. She did a terrible job, but since she was twice my size, I just had to wait for the charge nurse to run out with the ammonia caps to expose the truth. In the mean time, some sweet, unsuspecting big dude came over to render aid. Poor guy, he was so concerned. "Oh man, she must have finally passed out from the pain", he said. "Yeah. She's fine. People are coming, but thank you", I told him. Yes, she looked like quite the fool whenever she immediately sat up while trying to bat the ammonia cap away. I saw the same gentleman on the way out and thanked him again for helping. He asked me if she was alright. My triage partner chimed right in. "Yup", he said. "That happens sometimes when we have long waits." The nice man was shocked. "Seriously? WOW." He walked away shaking his head.
Yeah. With the way it's going here, it'll happen one day. But we'll be terribly skeptical when it does.