Thursday, November 3, 2016

Better to Be Right Than Wrong

A guest told me she had a stomach virus, so I drove off in a relaxed mood. This is the second most common complaint that a hotel doctor sees and easy to deal with.

But it wasn’t easy. The guest was huddled on the bed, looking very ill. I could barely touch her abdomen. I wondered if she had acute pancreatitis or a gallstone.

The paramedics arrived and took her off.

When I called that evening, the husband answered. I learned that by the time the emergency room doctor saw her, she wasn’t feeling so bad. After several hours and many tests, he sent her out with a prescription and the diagnosis of a stomach virus. She was now better.

Naturally, I expressed pleasure at her recovery. He thanked me for my concern, but I admit to a touch of chagrin. A doctor must send a patient to an emergency long before he’s 100 percent certain there’s an emergency. Otherwise, he’d decide not to send some who needed to go: a much worse scenario. Still, it feels better to be right than wrong.  

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