Sunday, March 10, 2013

Diagnosis Of The Week

Once upon a time, prior to entering nursing school, using the time-honored "try before you buy" approach, I took patient care out for a test spin. While doing volunteer patient care with some of the best medical professionals (paid or unpaid) I've ever been privileged to work with, we had occasion to do a lot of community events.

One especially notable one was an annual two-day air show which always drew upwards of 500,000 visitors for the two days. Because jets are cool, and entry was free.

The plus for us was, with that many bodies, we were going to get business. The minus for the city involved was, with that many bodies, there was no way they were getting an ambulance into the site, and even if they did, it would create more problems than it solved. So for everything from sore feet to heart attacks, we were it.

Mind you, were were up to the task, both from a personnel stand-point, to the fact that we essentially set up a 20-bed treatment area in the former airfield fire station, which became Airshow ER for those two days every summer.

But bureaucracies run on paperwork, so every year, after things wound down, the local supervisor of constables would come around, and get the low-down on the numbers and categories of patients we'd treated, for everyone from the airport manager to the mayor, and 27 agencies in between the two.

So one year, Fearless Leader is giving Lieutenant Doright the annual tally of victimology: 

"We watered 20,000 cups worth of participants;
 had 852 people needing sunscreen;
6 difficulty breathings, resolved;
2 chest pains, both transported by city fire; 
3 diabetic emergencies;
8 pedestrian-versus-airplanes..."

"Sorry, I thought the planes were parked. Did they run over the...?"
"Oh no, sorry, what happens is, the people are walking around the parked planes with missile racks hanging down and sharp wings and such, and not paying attention as they gawk, and they bonk into them headfirst.
 Where was I?...
okay, 11 foot injuries;
412 heat-related complaints, all recovered after treatment;
and 4 elderly patients FDGB."
"Sorry, what's an FDGB. I've got 20 years on the street, and I've never heard that one before from the city paramedics."

"Fall Down. Go BOOM!"
"Gotcha. Don't take this personally, but I think you guys enjoy this business too much." 

Dear Readers, from that day to this, one of my solemn healthcare missions in life is to make FDGB as commonly used and accepted as SOB, GSW, AAA, and countless other acronyms in the medical field. I didn't invent it, it's in the Public Domain, in fact it's even made it into the Urban Dictionary after 20+ years usage, but it accurately summarizes any number of medical runs and sign-ins that you'll see in the course of your career.

So I humbly request that you join me in proudly using FDGB, every time it applies.


  1. I love it! I promise to start using FDGB staring now.

  2. I used it with admitting after crashing my bike. Nurse didn't even smile. Hurt like hell, too.

  3. It's notable that it's already in the Urban Dictionary.

    I won't rest until I see it in JAMA.