March 11, 1996 12:00 PM

>THE TENDER SIDE OF MEDICINE

BAD ENOUGH THAT THEY SCRIBBLE prescriptions in some kind of hyperscrawl, emergency room docs now seem to speak in tongues as well. The problem might not be that you are a “gork”—that is, a patient with mental impairment due to brain injury. Real-life ER slang is so arcane that Dr. Mark Brown, a Dartmouth-trained emergency room physician practicing in Northern California, added a glossary to his new Emergency!—True Stories from the Nation’s ERs (Villard, $21). Here is a guide that even those with very high ”feather counts” (measure of flakiness) should get.

•BLADE: Nickname for a surgeon

•BUG JUICE: Intravenous antibiotics

•TRAIN WRECK: A patient with severe, complicated disease or injury

•POP DROP: When families drop their elderly dad at the hospital so they can take a vacation

•ROCKS: Patients not sick enough to admit to the hospital but whom the family refuses to take home

•CTD: Circling the Drain. Very sick and failing fast

•GOOMBAH: A worrisome mass or tumor found on an X ray or exam

•CROCK: Malingering patient with bogus complaints

•FTD Fixin’to Die

•BOXED: Put in a pine box (i.e., died)

•STAT: At once, immediately

•GOMER:A debilitated patient as in, Get Out of My Emergency Room

•NEGATIVE WALLET BIOPSY: Patient lacking both insurance and cash

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