Monday 11 October 2010


It was just revealed that back in 2008, undertakers in South London found a patient breathing. Apparently the paramedics declared him dead and called the coroner. When the coroner arrived, he discovered the man wasn’t as dead as once thought. 

Sort of being dead…that must be like kind of being a virgin.

I’m thinking there are few jobs out there where the details really matter. Details such as: if one is breathing, if there is a pulse, you know, if the person is actually living you don’t send him off to be embalmed and put in a wooden box. Fine, we’re all human, mistakes happen, but this is one of those mistakes that could’ve ended really badly. I mean, worse than the time I rode a bike with no brakes into an intersection. And that was pretty bad - as far as judgment goes, that was not my finest moment.

The case was one of more than 60 'Serious Untoward Incidents' (SUIs) recorded between 2007 and 2009. I’m thinking a SUI is a euphemism for ‘we totally screwed up, and we’re very very sorry.’ Being English, I’m sure they would be very polite about it. If it were the States not only would they not reveal the errors, but the almost dead man would of course sue for 50 million dollars, win and be spending his summers in St. Tropez on his yacht alongside Jay-Z and Beyonce.

Another case revealed in this report saw a failure of equipment due to the batteries being faulty when a doctor was about to resuscitate a cardiac patient. Again, OOPS. Something you might want to check before you utter the words, ‘clear!’ and whip out those handy life saving paddles. It is like a bad episode of ER, “I said clear! Crap; my bad, looks like we should’ve used Energizer batteries!”

In this same revelation of incidents that I’m sure they wish they had never revealed, there were the very astute paramedics that let a man suffering severe chest pains walk up two flights of stairs unaided. He later died in the ambulance. What about that seemed like a good idea? I’m surprised they didn’t have him run around the block a few times, you know, just to check that he was really breathing.

I suppose the moral of all this is that no matter how capable or trained a human being is, they are still human. I don’t know about you, but when I go into hospital now I practically tattoo my blood type across my forehead, as well as repeat myself a thousand times like I have some form of paranoid tourette's. It’s either that or they confuse me with some other patient who’s having a barium enema and a limb amputated. No thank you. Labor was excruciating enough.
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