Fact Check

Three Dead After Open Drink Left at Nurses' Station?

Did three nurses die after an open beverage container was left at a nurses' station?

Published Oct. 13, 2014


Claim:   Three nurses died after an open beverage container was left at a Mercy Hospital nurses' station.


Example:   [Collected via email, October 2014]

on Gomerblog there is an artical stating 3 Nurses at Mercy Hospital in San Francisco died from eating and drinking at the Nurses Station and that Joint Commision sent a statement stating "I told you so". I saw this posted on Facebook, is there any truth to this?


Origins:   On 11 October 2014, Gomer Blog published an article titled "Beverage Container Left Open at Nurses Station, Three Dead as a Result." Its satirical nature is almost undeniable from the beginning (at least to healthcare workers in on the joke), as it starts off stating "... in a tragic tale of 'I told you so.'"

The Gomer Blog's article appears to poke fun at the health care's profession's attitude about certain strict Occupational Safety & Health Administration rules, in this case using the voices of imaginary healthcare workers to mock iron-clad regulations concerning drinks at nurses' stations:

"I saw them just pounding pizza slices at the nurses station," said respiratory therapist Tom Biggins. "I thought it was odd that they weren't eating in the break room, but they seemed to be ok typing nursing notes on the computer and eating at the same time. Most people can multitask while eating."

Two of the nurses also had open soda cans at the station, which experts are now thinking was their eventual cause of death.

Medical examiner, Dr. Timothy Fribbins hasn't seen anything like this in his career. The nurses were barely identifiable as their bodies had turned into gelatinous ooze.


A second bit pokes fun at medical bureaucrats:

The Joint Commission has already released a memo to the hospital which simply read, "We are deeply sorry to hear about the tragedy at Mercy Hospital last night. As a friendly reminder, food and beverages are forbidden at the Nurses Station for this very reason. We told you so."


It's fair to say Gomer Blog's (GOMER is an acronym for "Get Out of My Emergency Room") specialized brand of satire may be lost on those who don't work in medicine. However, a disclaimer page on the site reads:

Welcome to the disclaimer page! You found it because you were either bored or thought one of the posts were true! Either way this should explain some things. Gomerblog.com is strictly a satirical and fake news blog site. All articles are fake and not intended to diagnosis medical conditions or to give medical advice. Please see a real medical website or your doctor for diagnosis and any medical advice. Please don't take any advice from our website.


Additional articles reveal an array of common healthcare worker gripes couched as funny headlines, like "Surgeon Furious that X-ray Tech Not Available 2.3 Seconds After Demanding X-ray in OR," "Joint Commission Cites Itself as a Major Hindrance to Medical Care," and "ER Places Bowl Full of Percocet in Waiting Room, Lowers Visits."

Last updated:   13 October 2014


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.