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October 13, 1997

The Lie

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(18):2153. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440390157019

ANNIE IS from New Hampshire and came here to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains for the horse show. The nurses and I carry her from the car into the emergency room and gently place her on the gurney. She was kicked in the abdomen by her horse and lay in a field for over an hour until friends found her and brought her to the hospital. Even though I am working in the emergency room of a small hospital, I am confident. The nurses know their jobs. Faced with a serious surgical problem, we work well together.

Within a few minutes we have inserted two IVs, one in a forearm vein, another in the external jugular; her blood pressure, however, remains marginal. The fluid from the abdominal tap is grossly bloody and so is her urine. Annie remains calm. Her serious eyes are piercing; I hold her hand

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