The Darwin Awards

2008 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

It's The Cure That'll Kill You
2008 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(11 May 2008, California) I was trying to explain the nuances necessary for a truly good Darwin Award to the E.R. personnel with whom I work since, incredibly, they had no notion of these prestigious Awards and the extraordinary effort it takes to win one. As an example I referenced a truly bizarre occurrence in our own little hospital.

All three of us on duty today were also present on Mother's Day 2008 when a poor woman was brought in suffering from a venomous snake bite to her right hand. The 53-year-old was strolling with her family in celebration of the holiday when she spotted a small brown snake that she mis-identified as a Garter snake. To her credit, everyone involved agreed that the snake had no rattles, but the fact that it SHOULD HAVE is indisputible.

She was bitten on the middle finger. The immediate pain and swelling alerted them to the fact of a serious envenomation. This is all too common a story, but what ensued raises its value to Honorable Mention consideration.

Our little city of Ojai has a well-deserved reputation as a hotbed of alternative healing, unique lifestyles, and philosophy. Still, the E.R. staff were surprised to hear the family's account of their treatment for Mother. Someone in the group had heard that Tasers would counter the effect of a rattlesnake bite. Unfortunately this family did have access to a Taser weapon, and they shot their mother!

It did not help. When the pain and swelling of her arm continued advancing, they did the only sensible thing: they shocked her again. With little else in their armamentarium, or perhaps running low on batteries, they brought her to the emergency room--where they expressed considerable dismay as the staff proceeded to administer I.V. vials of Crofab (antivenom) and admit her to the I.C.U.

SIDEBAR: "Armamentarium: the collection of equipment and methods used in the practice of medicine."

All ended well, except for the snake, rendering this just an anectdote amongst the truly terminal stories collated by Darwin.

P.S. This story and details are as close as I can come to the full truth without violating HIPPA. There are three of us on duty today, as any other day, and the identities of the others can be easily determined from the oficial records. Hospitals have become extremely sensitive about leaks of information regarding celebrities or anyone else.


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Submitted by: Ojai Hospital Medical Records, May 11, 2008
Reference: Personal Account of Emergency Room Physician Gordon Clawson, MD

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