Medical Bullshit in TV (Part 5)

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Featuring: The Vampire Diaries (no spoilers) Season 6 Episode 14

Regarding end of life care…

Why is the obs machine still attached to the patient if they’re reaching end of life? What are you going to do if their blood pressure drops — cannulate them and give them fluids? What are you going to do if their oxygen levels drop — give them a chest x-ray? Start antibiotics which won’t work because they’re dying and their immune system is more or less unresponsive?

This is why we stop observations, blood tests, needles etc. (syringe drivers not included) when we know someone is dying, because unnecessary interventions are unnecessary and distressing for someone who is dying. The beeping machine, the squeeze from the blood pressure cuff — all of that is distressing and we can do nothing to fix abnormal numbers IN SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO DIE. It just makes the end more stressful, precious family time interrupted, and extra unnecessary work for staff.

Unexpected deaths not included, of course. But if you’re going to write expected death in a hospital/hospice scene, the team would have discontinued observations long ago.

Unless you’re Vampire Diaries and want the dramatic ~flat line~ to indicate she’s dead. But you know, when doctors verify death we don’t look at the flat line to know someone is dead.

Got any TV series or films you want me to flip out about? Comment below.

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