Apr 23 2010

ICU nurse insists cell phones not a threat to patients

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You know those hospital signs that insist your cell phone can disrupt pacemakers, heart monitors, and morphine drips? It’s not true. I’ve got the audio to prove it.

This conversation took place in the Cumberland Medical Center ICU ward in Crossville, TN. I carried an open wire during my visits to the ICU as Tennessee allows “one-party consent” recordings. Transcript follows:

Rob:
You got a Verizon telephone here. That’s not allowed in ICU.
Nurse:
Yes it is. It doesn’t interfere with anything.
Rob:
There’s a sign
Nurse:
Oh phbt! That is an old sign.
Sandra:
{Off-topic to another person} Is he— Is he staying with you?
Rob:
“That’s an old sign.” Definitely {crosstalk}.
Nurse:
That’s an old sign. Trust me: phones do not interact with nothin’.
Sandra:
What doesn’t interact?
Nurse:
Telephone.
Rob:
I’m gonna quote you on that.
Nurse:
Not in this one {this ICU} it doesn’t. I guarantee you.
Sandra:
{Joking} But this is a military phone.
Nurse:
Huh?
Sandra:
This is a military phone.
Rob:
Mine?
Nurse:
His?
Sandra:
Yeah.
Nurse:
Oh.
Rob:
No, mine’s a {mumbles}. Look at that. “Mine’s a military phone.” Yeah, a lot of good that does.
Sandra:
Okay, the nurse had some information. This— Marie is our interpreter.
Nurse:
Okay…
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