Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

April 4, 2001 | Volume 2, Issue 4

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Intern’s Attempt to Diurese Service Fails Miserably

Length of stay increases; hospital administration seeks answers

NEW YORK, NY - Dr. Michael Stevens, an intern at Beth Israel-Sinai Downtown Hospital, has got a lot of explaining to do.

Officials at HCFA say his actions were directly responsible for a near-doubling of the hospital's length-of-stay this past month.

Dr. Michael Stevens

Stevens, according to reports, gave intravenous Lasix® (furosemide) in doses ranging from 180-240mg to each of the twenty-two patients on his service, the majority of whom had no indication for the medication. Many became severely dehydrated and required aggressive fluid rehydration.

Stevens explained that he was just "following orders."

"[Second-year resident Jessica Teladi, MD] told me to diurese my service and so I did it," he stammered during questioning by hospital authorities. "I suppose I could have used hydrocholothiazide, but I heard Lasix was better."

Dr. Teladi denied giving Stevens instructions to fluid-deplete his patients.

"I was late for morning report, and I thought his service was getting a little big," she began, "so as I ran off, I told him to discharge as many patients as possible. That's about all I said."

When asked specifically if she had told Stevens to "diurese" his service, Teladi's jaw dropped. "Oh, my God... He really thought I... I mean... Who the hell gives Lasix to twenty-two freakin' patients?!!"

Hospital officials are working closely with New York State health authorities to resolve the crisis.

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