Don’t be a superhero

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A patient came in last night complaining of pain to the base of the neck on the right side, posteriorly. On physical examination, the patient had scar tissue, but, it looked improperly formed.

On looking at the patient’s chart, I realized that the patient had been seen initially by another doctor who wanted the swelling to the area to be explored surgically in the ER!!!

Not a good idea.

I decided to take a much more simpler approach, i.e.: send the patient for an x-ray of the neck and upper region of the back.

On review of the X-ray, it clearly showed the tip of a triangular sharp object in the area of the upper back.

Further history ascertained from the patient revealed that she had been in a fight 4 years ago, (yep….4yrs ago….), and, she had been stabbed in the same region.

She finally came back after 4 years of pain.

However, the moral of the story is this. Don’t be a superhero.

Before doing some procedure on anyone, a proper physical history should be taken, run some tests, obtain radiological images if necessary so you can have a better picture of the patient’s problem.

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