May I turn off your oxygen?

Code 3 for possible coroner’s case.

Check that – shortness of breath.

Sometimes I really wonder what people see with their eyes.

Anyway, at this upscale home with entitled rich people, we’re moving the patient from the floor to the gurney, and I disconnect her cannula from her home oxygen supply and connect it to our portable tank. Like I’ve done hundreds of times before, I instinctively follow the tubing back 30 feet around some corners to the bedroom.

“What are you doing? Don’t wake the baby!”

That was a relative of the patient shrieking at me.

I ignore her for a second, but my curiosity gets the better of me, and I kinda want to see what stupid thing I am going to hear next, so I poke my head around the corner back toward where the voice came from.

“Why would I wake the baby?”

Like I’m going back there to scream at the baby that I didn’t even know about. And then bang some pots together like cymbals.


“I’m turning off her oxygen. Is that OK with you?”

I don’t know about her, but I was raised to put stuff away when I’m done using it.

I really hope she notices the transparently fake smile.

3 thoughts on “May I turn off your oxygen?”

  1. I know that there has to be a formula to calculate exactly how much O2 a patient gets after it travels through 30-40 feet of tubing at 2 LPM. Then again I never cared enough to find it. It certainly can’t be much.

    Not to mention how disgustingly dirty that gets.

      1. don’t we do that with shorter lines all the time when patients are bitching that they “need oxygen” for no reason? =P

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