Dear ER nurse at Eastern Hospital,

I did not appreciate your gaze when I mentioned that my patient has a VP shunt. When I mentioned the hydrocephalus, you should have pieced the two together. I was able to use my deductive reasoning abilities when the Nursing Home RN said that my patient has some kind of ventricular shunt. I asked if it was for hydrocephalus, she said yes. Since you cannot use your brain this morning I will provide the information for you, courtesy of the National Institute of Health:

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt is surgery that is done to relieve pressure inside the skull (intracranial pressure). This pressure is caused by too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on the brain (hydrocephalus). The fluid is drawn off (shunted) from the ventricles in the brain into the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity. In rare cases the fluid is shunted into the pleural space in the chest (the thin covering of the lungs). Taken from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003019.htm

See the interweb can be useful!


About Joel

I am a paramedic, firefighter and I work for an organ procurement organization. All stories related to work have been altered to HIPPA standards and for the protection of those involved. The personal stories are different. Photography, flying, aviation, hiking, camping, travel, geocaching, amateur radio are a few of my hobbies.
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One Response to VP

  1. Buckman says:

    Talked to a nurse on the phone at my new job the other day. She said the patient had esophageal varices. I asked about liver trouble and was told “no”. I asked about alcohol abuse and she said “no”. I asked about “hepatic disease” and she said “no.” I then asked about a liver function test and she read the results to me that were inconclusive. I pushed and prodded a dozen different ways, and got nothing. The tissue team arrived to look at the body and deferred because the patient was jaundiced. That is the ONLY FREAKING THING I did not ask. You would think that she might have put 2 and 2 together…but you would be wrong.

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