A two-year-old child with a rectal temperature of 102°F is brought into the emergency department at 2:00 a.m. by his parents because of the fever. He is fussy and is pulling at his left ear.
The emergency physician began his shift an hour ago and has already seen five patients, all with the viral syndrome that is going around. None of these patients have insurance, so the physician bills them at a minimal rate for his services.
Paramedics were summoned to aid a 70-year-old woman in cardiac arrest. They attempted to resuscitate her, but on arrival at the emergency department the patient was still unresponsive and was pronounced dead.
A registered nurse working in a busy emergency department receives a call from a mother whose two-year-old child has diarrhea and is vomiting. The mother wants to know what to do.