Lady, your son doesn’t need any treatment. YOU DO!

So, I was working in the ED yesterday because my preceptor is the VMO on call for this weekend. A mother brought in her son who has a small laceration on his chin.

Mother: HELP! My son is injured badly! He won’t stop bleeding.

Child wasn’t crying, but wasn’t saying much either.

Me: OK, I’ll just get you to fill in the form and I’ll triage him in a sec.


Me: Sorry, we have a spinal patient needing more attention at the moment.

I went off to help the patient with the ?cervical fracture. Came back to see the lady and her son after 10 mins.

Me: OK, you can come in now. *lead both to the procedure room*

Mother: I’m afraid he may have broken his jaw when his chin landed on the cement block.

Me: *assessing the jaw and playing with the child* Can you point to where the pain is?

Child points to the chin.

Me: *pressing around the mental protuberance* Is it painful here?

Child shook his head. I went ahead and checked for any other injuries. Child only had a superficial laceration about 2cm length and 6mm deep on the mental protuberance, no discomfort other than the superficial injury itself.

Me: OK, it looks like your son has just got this laceration. We’ll give it a good clean and then we’ll glue the wound.

Mother: I think he needs an x-ray. You can see that he is in pain.

Me: Look, I’ve examined your son and he is not complaining of any pain to me even when I pressed around his wound. I don’t think he’ll be needing any x-ray.

I left to grab some saline and skin glue. Came back, gave his chin a good wash and proceed to start gluing.

Mother: Oh, aren’t you supposed to give it a clean?

Me: *thinking ‘lady, you should have been watching me instead of texting the picture of his wound to your relatives” I just did a minute ago. *kept gluing*

When I was done, the lady asked if she could also get his prescription of the preventer med for his asthma.

Mother: My son has been having asthma attacks recently. I haven’t given him his preventer for almost 2 weeks cos the GP has given me the wrong dosage for his preventer.

Me: *thinking surely this lady could have gone in for another prescription* OK, I’ll check. *went to the medication room to look for the same med, which the ED doesn’t stock, but there was an equivalent med*

I went to check with my preceptor if the substitute med was appropriate, which he said yes, and to the mother to see if the child had specific drug allergies, which he didn’t.

Me: Well, we don’t have medication A, but we have got medication B which essentially does the same thing.

Mother: I don’t trust you and that medication. *went into a rant about how she would rather not give him any medications than accept medication B, how the medical system is so corrupt and inefficient, and how the doctors know nothing whatsoever.

Me: !!!


Some days, I just wish that there is a plague that targets stupidity and ignorance.

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5 thoughts on “Lady, your son doesn’t need any treatment. YOU DO!

  1. Oh my…
    And I thought we schizophrenics were bad to handle… Gosh…
    Mothers are the worst of all…

    • acennace says:

      I agree quantumphysica. Overprotective mothers are definitely up there with hypochondriacs. Apparently, they know the ins and outs of the children more and they have researched all the symptoms on WebMD. Obviously they should be the doctor…

      The patients with schizophrenia I’ve met so far have been great in comparison. I haven’t faced any problems so far.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      • I know from my own experience… I have a mother… since I’m in admission, she has read every single book on mental illness our library has to offer… (and she is the librarian of our town’s library, so when she’s out of them she simply orders more O_o)

        Glad to know we’re not such troublemakers after all xD

  2. Billofrights says:

    Don’t you have nurses that triage for you? And why are you triaging patients if you’re a medical student? This sounds like something a hospital can lose accreditation over.

    • acennace says:

      They do have nurses to triage patient and one of them was with me at the time. I’m a final year med student and I can triage patient with a nurse. My preceptor has to check on everything that I do and he did that, so there’s no fear for the hospital to lose accreditation.

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