When Emily was brought into the hospital by ambulance, she was given a yellow wristband. Emily wasn’t conscious anymore, so she didn’t notice it. Her husband finally arrived after dropping off the kids at his parents, and when he arrived, he saw the yellow wristband Emily had around her wrist. As a general practitioner, he knew exactly what that meant. He called the police immediately. He could not believe that doctors would make such a mistake.
Michael got the call that his wife Emily was transported to the hospital by his neighbor. She was also the one that called the ambulance in the first place when she got the feeling that something strange was going on at their house. The neighbor normally saw Emily at least twice a day when she was walking the dog, but that day she had not seen her once, and she got suspicious.
But when she rang the doorbell, the woman quickly figured out that something was wrong. The dog started to bark loudly and jumped against the door, but Emily did not come to the door. Her bad feeling got stronger by the second, and she decided to walk around the house, peeking through the windows.
Emily was on the ground in the kitchen; she was not moving and not reacting to the neighbor banging on the window. The woman quickly called an ambulance, and they were on the scene within minutes. The neighbor was calling Michael at this point, and the only information the ambulance personnel could give her was that Emily was still alive, and she herself had seen that Emily was given a yellow wristband.
Michael was so freaked out that he had not even heard the neighbor mentioning the yellow wristband when he was called. Michael was actually on his way to pick up their kids and drive them home. He picked up the kids from school and brought them to his parents, giving them the excuse that he had to take care of some grown-up business and that they would have to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at the grandparents. He tried to call ahead to the hospital as well, but all they could tell him was that Emily had arrived there. Luckily, he was almost at the hospital, and then he would have the opportunity to find everything out for himself, at least that is what he hoped.
Michael was actually relatively familiar with the hospital, and he hoped that this would help him get around some of the red tape relatives often had to face. He was a general practitioner himself and often had contact with the hospital before transferring patients to them. The hospital did everything by the book, and that meant you had to sign a lot of documents when wanting to see somebody in critical condition. Michael desperately wanted to avoid that. Michael was happy that his reputation seemed to help him there, at least that is what he thought.
He had to wait in the room for a little bit, which gave him time to think about the situation, and he suddenly remembered a detail from the call with the neighbor. He was unsure if he had even heard it correctly, but he believed that she had said something to him about a yellow wristband. Normally, patients who were admitted like that could get a red wristband. He had seen it a lot with patients that he directed to the hospital when he went to visit them, only seen the yellow one a couple of times with very specific patients, and he was sure Emily did not fall into that category. Or did the doctors here know something he didn’t?
Now that he had gotten this realization, Michael was even more desperate to see his wife. He had waited here almost 10 minutes by now, and still nobody had come to see him. Outside his door, there were two security guards who were not going to let him pass. Michael was ready to become furious at them, but that was of no use. Michael was completely baffled by this treatment. He had been working with this hospital for a long time, but he had never heard of anybody being watched like this.
He was on the phone with the police quickly, and Michael managed to convince them to send a squad car out. Michael had told them the truth about the situation, and the officer who answered the call sounded very surprised about the hospital’s approach. He started shouting out of the window as hard as he could that they needed to help him. Everybody who was around to hear it looked up in surprise, and within seconds, the security guards had stormed in, most likely to shut him up. The police had seen and heard Michael, and they were going to have to answer them, but it was not like they knew anything about the situation, as the security guards were just sent here to make sure Michael did not leave.
The officers were already talking to somebody that Michael immediately recognized as one of the directors of the hospital and a head doctor that Michael had to deal with by far the most when he directed patients to this hospital. One of the officers asked Michel to give his account of the situation. He was a bit reluctant at first, as he just wanted to see his wife as soon as possible, but the officers insisted. The officer ordered that Michael be brought to his wife, and a nurse immediately came over to assist. The officer in question also walked with them and started to explain the strange situation to Michael.
Michael apparently thought that the hospital staff liked him a lot more than they actually did. They did not like him at all, and you could even say they hated him. In their eyes, he was a useless middleman that just cost them money. If he did not exist, patients would just come directly to them for help. This was the reason that the hospital was not that eager to help Michael avoid standard procedures. Apparently, it had nothing to do with Michael’s knowledge about the hospital and the yellow and red wristbands. The directors had no idea what wristband Emily was wearing, and they failed to see the relevance of this as well.
When Michael opened up the door, tears immediately came to his wife. There was his wife Emily, peacefully sleeping in bed, and then he saw that she was still wearing that same damn yellow wristband. He turned to the nurse and told them that they had to have made a mistake by putting that on her.
She needed to check it again, and the nurse had no problem looking Emily up in the system to verify their decision. And wouldn’t you know, they had actually made a big mistake. The yellow wristband is given to new patients that come in without having insurance, and what makes mistakes here really dangerous is that patients without insurance are actually not immediately treated if they have life-threatening injuries or illnesses. This could, of course, quickly spell disaster.
Luckily, the nurses had checked Emily’s vitals anyway and determined that there was nothing really wrong with her. She had just passed out, most likely from dehydration. It did not take long before she woke up again and was ready to go home. Michael was extremely relieved by the whole situation, and it also softened his anger against the hospital and its treatment of him.
They ended up having a very good and honest conversation about their working relationship and how to improve it. They eventually managed to find some common ground and made some decisions that both parties could be happy with, and Emily, of course, easily made a full recovery.