Somedays our hospital staff just baffles me. Somedays they are über-ready to get something done, like the CT tech who calls 30 seconds after you put the order for a CT in. Other days you call phlebotomy and three hours later they show up to draw a “now” lab. There’s no consistency. And when you need something like blood, it’s usually not just something that you can be “meh” about. Case in point happened a couple of weeks ago.
We had a patient who needed blood. Badly. Unfortunately due to their specific disease and numerous antibodies, they needed special blood. The Red Cross had to fly it in. Yes, fly it to us and we’re fairly good-sized city. It’s not like we’re in the middle of podunk backwoods-land. The blood bank calls us at 1am and says the blood has arrived and we figure we’ll be getting a call soon that it will be ready. 2am, nothing. 3am, nothing. The house doc comes up asking if the blood has started, he wants it done now.
So we call blood bank.
“Calling about the blood for us up here on 5. Is it ready yet?” asks the nurse.
“No, we’re having a problem with the computer and can’t get it ready.” replies blood bank.
“No, we really need it soon. It’s kind of important.” replies the nurse.
“Well, you see there’s a probelm with the computer generated tag and I can’t do anything about it. Only my supervisor can has the right access…” says blood bank.
“And when are they coming?” angrily asks the nurse.
“Uh, I haven’t called them yet. Don’t really want to wake them up, it’s 3am.” they say.
“Maybe you don’t get it.” says the nurse. “My patient’s H/H has dropped to 5.0/16.3 in the last 4 hours that you’ve been stalling on getting the blood to us. You need to call them.”
“Let me make a call.” they reply.
30 minutes go by. The house doc comes by again, still wondering if we’ve started, which we haven’t. And then comes the cool part. He calls them.
“Look, I don’t care if the supervisor has to override this or that. My patient needs blood. If they haven’t arrived in 10 minutes, I’ll come down there and sign the blood out myself, to hell with your computers.”
Guess what? The blood was ready in 7 minutes. Sometimes having an MD to throw their weight around is a good thing!