A mordibly obese woman was brought to the Emergency Department for shortness of breath on a tarp dragged by six firemen. After positioning two gurneys side by side, we somehow managed to lift her up. She was in respiratory
failure due to her weight, which we estimated to be approximately five hundred pounds.
Attempting to undress her, we lifted her arms to pull her very large blouse over her head. To our surprise, an asthma inhaler fell out from under her right armpit. It had been enveloped in the skin.
Reviewing her chest X ray, we noticed a round density in the left chest. With the help of an assistant, we lifted up her massive left breast to find a shiny dime. No telling how long it had been there.
Finally, a nurse and two technicians attempted to place a Foley catheter in her bladder. After spreading apart one tree-trunk leg at a time, they found a handful of industrial paper towels, apparently being used as a sanitary napkin. But they also found an even larger surprise in her crotch — a TV remote control.
When I gave a report about the patient to the unhappy admitting physician, I tried to cheer him up by reminding him that if he did a thorough exam, he too could find buried treasure. We nicknamed our patient The Human Couch.
The patient's family was very happy that we found the remote.