Working in the ER, I’ve encountered all sorts of people. I entered the room of a middle-aged man and proceeded to interview the patient after introducing myself. When I asked him what had brought him to the ER that day, he advised, “I have smoke coming from my penis.”
I had to work extremely hard to hide my amusement and carried on with my interview and exam. His exam was completely unremarkable, but I went ahead and ordered a urinalysis and blood work. Quite surprisingly, his urinalysis was horrific and his lab work not much better.
We proceeded with a computed tomography scan of his abdomen to assess his kidneys better. We found that his kidneys were filled with gas from a gas-producing pyelonephritis. Literally every time this patient voided he was expelling gas from the kidneys, which he interpreted as looking like smoke. I will certainly never forget my patient with the “smoking penis.”
Tell us about your most memorable patient by December 15, 2010, and you’ll be eligible to win an Apple iPad!