A caravan of trucks traveled up I-75 carrying precious goods. As the colossal collection of cargo approached the scenic Maumee River near Toledo, the lead driver failed to realize that traffic had slowed to a pace only seen during the cleaning of empty hospital rooms. Being from out of town, he was unaware of the stampede to the local convention center to receive free cell phones from the federal government. The traffic had backed up for a quarter mile. With nothing left to do, he down-shifted and pushed with all his might on the brake pedal. Soon enough the 18-wheeler jack-knifed and the rest of the caravan followed suit. Before anyone could dial 911 on a free phone, five tractor-trailers plunged into the river. EMS and Coast Guard arrived quickly. They navigated the swift current to reach the jumble of rubber and steel. Miraculously, the drivers survived, but the cargo of essential intravenous medications descended to the murky depths of the dredged waterway.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 31 – No 05 – May 2012
Fish on the downstream side began to act strangely. The lidocaine was absorbed first, causing many to have seizures. Or possibly they were just swimming fast. In the commotion, it was hard to tell. Luckily, there was plenty of ondansetron to prevent postictal vomiting. Unfortunately, the fish absorbed the furosemide next. Between the seizing and all the micturation, those fish didn’t know up from down. Plus, they couldn’t find the “peeing” section of the river. To make matters worse, the labetalol began to work and wiped out what little blood pressure was left after the furosemide. As the etomidate was absorbed into the listless pisces, they turned belly up and drifted to Lake Erie, where their remains were eventually eaten by the bottom-feeding lawyer fish.
The big winners in the whole mess were the upstream carp, who managed to salvage the unbroken bottles of etomidate. They hope that when the government decides to give away electric cars, a truck carrying syringes and needles will crash in a similar fashion.
Meanwhile, on land, hospitals across the Midwest experienced shortages of all these drugs. Pharmacists hastily developed rationing plans and squeezed every supplier for their last vials. When interviewed, hospital administrators vacationing in Mexico were quick to point out that there was a special on etomidate at the Walmart in Puerto Vallarta and they were flabbergasted by all the fuss. Several promised that they would check into the situation after finishing their piña coladas.