05 August 2009

hospital happy hour.

little known fact: the hospital keeps a stock of beer in the pharmacy.

it's bud lite.

and no, it's not for the pharmacists (although i'm sure they'd love to knock one back every once in a while with the amount of things we have them mix up for our patients). it's pretty commonly known that someone who abuses alcohol can have serious symptoms of physiological withdrawal if they stop abruptly. in the hospital, we try to manage these symptoms the best we can, but sometimes very sick patients cannot tolerate the sedatives we give in order to control the withdrawal symptoms. and in such a case, doctor's orders are to knock one back.

we've been taking care of a patient this week with that exact problem -- but he came into our care after having a stroke and is currently unable to swallow. have no fear! the pharmacy has something for that too: 98% ethanol by IV drip. if i'm not mistaken, that's 196 proof. holy crap. i never thought it would be my job as a physician to keep my patient in a drunken stupor... the hilarity found in such a serious job delights me daily. cheers!

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