Sunday, December 09, 2007

ZoukOut, aka PukeOut

Forgive me for ranting yet again. ( Relaxing photos will be posted another time. )

I didn't realize my night shift coincided with the above event until it was too late.

Thought my December requests had covered all the bases ( i.e. X'mas and New Year ), but alas! the dreaded ZoukOut passed below my radar, and now I suffer the consequences.

Big bunch of young people brought in by ambulance -- intoxicated, vomiting, hyperventilating, shouting.

Mostly in their early 20s.

Typical history:

Dr: What happened to you?

Patient: I drank too much, doc.

Dr: What did you drink?

Pt: Vodka ( or some other hard liquor ).

Dr: How much?

Pt: A big bottle ( or "I don't remember", or "A lot lah, dunno how much exactly" )

Dr: And then you started vomiting?

Pt: Uh-huh.

One guy puked altered blood -- likely alcoholic gastritis vs Mallory-Weiss vs acute PUD, who knows which? Admitted to General Surgery.

Another girl is still pretty out of it. Able to sit up on her own but speaking gibberish intermittently. I gave her an empty vomit bag and she proceeded to try to drink from it like she was guzzling beer.

I suppose these youths think it's cool to drink themselves into a stupor, all in the name of partying.

And I guess the Singapore government believes that supporting such events makes our country appear hip and happening, raising its profile as a fun travel destination for tourists.

I'm just disgusted by our young people's behaviour. It isn't just during ZoukOut and festive seasons anymore. We now get similar cases at the ER most days of the week, often with concomitant injuries sustained in falls and fights.

Of course, we do see patients from the older age groups presenting with the same problems from time to time, especially old chaps with alcohol dependence who come to us almost daily for overnight TLC till they're sober.

But for such huge glitzy events, shouldn't the authorities think about setting up a few first aid stations on-site for these people, instead of stretching ERs which are already working on minimal manpower during night shifts?

In between the drunks, we had to attend to other legitimate patients, including one STEMI who went for PTCA and a collapse case who needed resuscitation.

Plus, our computer system was down for a couple of hours while undergoing maintenance. Thank goodness it was up and running way before the stipulated time, or things would've slowed down even further.

I'm just gearing up for the next wave, likely to begin in 2009 once the Integrated Resort is completed. This will comprise even more drunks converging on Marina Bay from every corner of the island, as well as gamblers both local and foreign. There're sure to be many coming in for chest pain, breathlessness, giddiness and what-not, probably induced by winning / losing, or just sitting down at the poker table / slot machine the whole day without eating or drinking anything.

I just find it all so sad really.

Note to self: do NOT do night shift during ZoukOut next year.

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