May 1, 2008, 8:44 am

Change of Shift, a Cup of Coffee and a Tale of Judge Judy


…is up over at Life in the NHS. Julie has done a great job, so be sure to check it out! Two weeks from now our host is Dr. Emer at Parallel Universes, so submissions can be sent to “doc (period) emer at gmail dot com” or via Blog Carnival.

Doc Gurley took the reins for Grand Rounds this week, and I’ll be needing a second cup of coffee for reading this morning. Oh, I am so looking forward to summer vacation when I can wake up on Tuesday mornings and read the entire Grand Rounds. It’s like curling up with a good book!



We all have secret guilty pleasures in our lives.

Watching Judge Judy is mine. I love the way she cuts through the feces to get to the facts.

But da judge was out of her mind the other night.

She told the mother of a 17-year-old girl that she should have taken her to the emergency department for urinary tract infection symptoms, and taken time off work to do so.

Girl has recurrent infections, so her mother told her to drink water and cranberry juice and they would to to the doctor in the morning.

Girl is not happy with this set-up so she tells boyfriend’s mother her tummy hurts and boyfriend’s mother takes Girl to the emergency department and then sues the mother for the $1600 bill (ER, ER doc and meds). Boyfriend’s mom signs the consent papers, apparently. Mother never authorized the visit, and did not take her daughter because she knew the ER was expensive and they did not have the money.

Of course, there are other factors involved – no one with any brains ever gets to stand in front of Judge Judy, anyway.


Judy, Judy, Judy – how can a lady as smart as you not understand that you don’t go to ERs for urinary tract infections when they are recurrent AND you have a doctor you can see within hours?

Now every single person who saw that segment thinks that symtoms of a UTI with a history of recurrent UTIs is a reason for an ER visit.

Sorry, Judge. You may have gone to law school but it sure did not give you any common sense when it comes to the appropriate use of an emergency department.

Ya blew it.


  • Steve

    May 1, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Now lets see…a young (and I’m sure a sexually active female) that gets recurrent UTI”S. The mother of the boyfriend (that I’m sure is sexually active)…and all of dems on da teevee!!!!!
    Seesh, isn’t that just all about ‘merica these days!?!?!?
    So the short answer should be: Youse gots to stop bopping the big whopper…youse gots to let the itch go tlll youse gets rid of da itch!
    Oh and yo boy toy…tell em to wash once an while….you all funky or summthin…nowadimeen!??!?!


  • ernurse

    May 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    lol @ Steve, that was one of the funniest comments I have read on a blog in a long time.

    Sounds like the girl’s mom was the only one with some sense in this situation. It’s amazing how uncommon common sense is!

    Damn… I guess we’re going to get flooded with “I think I have a UTI” pts!!

  • Nasty boy toy

    May 1, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Yo Steve, Whatchu doin’ gettin’ all up in my biddness… Ho gotta itch ain’t none oh yo problem. So don’t go messin’ mah booty call…

  • Leslie G.

    May 2, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I have been accused many times of “working for the enemy”, but as a Medical Review RN, this is what I do all day long, review Medicaid ER charts for medical necessity. It might be unfair to make a decission on not being able to see all the facts in front of me, but this would have been a big fat “Denial: PLP Not Met”. Meaning a Prudent Lay Person (PLP) would not have taken themselves or a family member to the ER for these symptoms. Judy would fall under tha PLP heading……scary that this came to court! Wow! UTI? Can you say….sexually active, seeing that she has recurrent infections. There is more to worry about than a UTI!

    Leslie G.

  • anonymous

    May 3, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    In Judge Judy’s day, if you had a UTI, the only pain relief available was by prescription. You couldn’t get pyridium over the counter. Cranberry juice and water doesn’t cut it for that kind of pain.

    Now you can get pyridium at the all-night drug store. The pain is gone, and then you can call your doctor in the morning for the antibiotic.

    But she probably doesn’t know that.

  • biffy1

    May 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I hope you found the e-mail address for Judge Judy’s show and let them know how poor this judgement was (pun intended) on all sides. I’ve written to all kinds of website news sites as well as AARP when I’ve found information that is not sensible, especially where the ED is concerned. You’re preaching to the choir here, so if you didn’t let Judge Judy know, tell me and I’ll email them. Thanks for your posts. I love them! You should be required reading for all of us ED folks.

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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