101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Sunday, January 11

...to evaluate the pneumonia...5:13


Pneumonia seems to strike the elderly easily, especially those smoking 2 packs a day.

THE EMERGENCY
A woman insists she is developing pneumonia and demands an ambulance to take her to a doctor.

THE ACTION
She meets us as so many do these days, fully dressed first thing in the morning, as if she awoke, looked at her iphone and saw that the first thing on today's agenda was to call 911. Thankfully she extinguishes the cigarette as we approach and insists later that, no, her smoking has no effect on her 'pneumonia.'
Darn it if I can't find any clinical signs of an illness other than the likely 60% of her lungs that no longer function after a life of tobacco poisoning. And since the lawyers won't let me tell her the truth and make her call for an appointment, away we go. The nurse at triage gives a sigh and knows the patient by name. "Pneumonia again 'Erma'?" I feel like Charlie Brown, *good grief*

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