You ever accidentally tell the wrong family their loved one just died?  So last night in the ER, we had two patients come in about the same time, both of the same gender and nationality, but maybe 30 years apart in age.

Patient A, roughly a 70 year old female, was here for cardio-pulmonary arrest (heart and lungs stopped working for some reason).  Patient B, a 40 year old female, was here for low back pain, although she did have some sort of cancer.

Patient A ended up dying despite our best efforts to save her.  The ER doctor went out to the waiting room to break the bad news to the family.  Through a comedy of errors, patient B’s family was accidentally rounded up and prepared for the doctors announcement.  The doctor then double checked by asking “are you Mrs Patient A’s family?”.  They (incorrectly) replied “yes, we are”.  Well, imagine their surprise when they found out their family member died from a severe backache!

After much screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth, and tearing of clothes (literally), it was realized that their family member wasn’t dead, in fact, she was very much alive, although her back was still a little sore.  The doctor  had to then go find the correct family and tell them the bad news (this time he was much more polished from the previous delivery).

Not quite the ol’ amputating of the wrong leg during surgery, but pretty close!

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