Life in the ROK

West goes East: The lives and adventures of a Californian couple living in Seoul

Monday, December 31, 2007

I had just reset to Korea time after returning from Cali then worked New Year's Eve in the ER. It wasn't busy but it was a crazy little night.

At about 10, a cab drove up and hastily pushed out a choking itching frantic girl. OK, 32 year-old woman. She was having an anaphylactic reaction after eating chocolate with little walnut pieces, which she's allergic to but didn't know about. She was in shock and freaking out until we jabbed the Epipen into her thigh, followed by the usual cocktail of steroids, etc. It was pretty impressive but thankfully easy to manage. Basically we gave the Heisman to Grim, saved her life and sent her to the ICU for obs the rest of the night.

Then around 3 am the victims of a gang fight started trickling in. Right, gangs in the military. At least we suspected as much.

The first guy, drunk of course, had a star-shaped laceration at his right temple that had severed the temporal artery. We discovered this when we peeled back the bandage and bright red blood squirted onto the wall 3 feet away! Homeboy said he'd tried to stop a fight at a bar. Right. We put the bandage back and called the surgeon to come in to do the vascular repair. We also found some brass knuckles in HB's pockets when we were looking for ID, which I kept for a minute.

An hour later Shady Character #2 showed up with a large laceration that peeled back and revealed about 5 square inches of right biceps muscle. SC2 was friends with Temple Lac Boy and I asked the surgeon to see him too since he was still there. The surgeon came back after the exam and told me the wound extended under the skin all the way to the delt and he suspected the patient had probably been stabbed while punching something. At that, I called the MPs to come have a chat with my patients and see what was up. I gave them the brass knuckles from homeboy uno, of which they were duly impressed.

Then another guy, friends with the first two, showed up with a dislocated shoulder. Then #4, with a 4 inch medium depth lac to the right forearm. Then #5, with a beat up face. All buddies. Then 0700 and my shift was over. I'm used to stuff like that from LA County but not at the US Army Hospital-Korea.

Happy New Year!


Blogger Katie said...

OH MY GOSH!!!! No way! You must have been in complete amazement. I read this to Alan and both he and I can't believe it. Way to ring in the New Year!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Seriously! You have all the fun Jay! =)

11:40 AM  
Blogger CaraEve said...

I'm bummed you chose not to put pictures of Homeboys 1-5 on the blog. Some of us DO NOT get enough violence on TV. Geez, Jay....

4:23 PM  
Anonymous DadBob said...

Next time, turn on your video camera, Jay! This is prime material for one of my non-exploitive medical shows, like "101 Things Removed From the Human Body!" On in this case "5 People You're Glad You Didn't Meet New Years Eve"

1:44 PM  

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