I'm this close (holding index finger and thumb 0.5mm apart) to calling up my nerdy engineering friends & having them calculate the probability of what I'm about to say. My surgical unit has the worst luck with patients, they all have the same freaking names! I mean all of them. You may wonder what difference that may make to me, but it really does. Leads to a bucket load of problems with their paperwork & guess who gets blamed.
There were two ABCs when I joined and this last night on-call, another one joined in. The worst part, I had no idea about their diagnoses, so I had no idea whose files I kept looking at. Next thing I know, I happen to wander into the female ward & there're two PQRs there too. Haven't ever been so relieved to see someone's discharge card being filled; one less confusion to deal with.
But this next one just had to take the cake. We have two guys with severe head injuries currently on ventilators in the ICU on adjacent beds. Both were brought in by the police, without any relatives, so were labelled "Unknown" until someone came forth to claim them. Thankfully, a couple of days in, Unknown #1's family showed up and changed his name in the papers to XYZ. And considering the ongoing trend in my unit, not surprisingly, Unknown #2's name also turns out to be XYZ!!
So, back to square one. "Excuse me, which head injury was this one again?"