VGH's most memorable ER patients revealed (VIDEO)

Dec 19 2017, 9:18 pm

The record-breaking documentary series Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH returns to B.C.’s Knowledge Network for a second season on Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

Filmed at Vancouver General Hospital, the show gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into one of B.C.’s busiest emergency departments and only accredited Level 1 Trauma Centre.

In season 2, the show will also take a closer look at patients’ medical journey, sometimes following their story with specialists beyond the walls of the ER.

To give you a sneak peek into the life of the ER staff, some of them shared these stories of their most memorable patients with us:

Is that fake blood?

Dr. Brianne Budlovsky: I was working on Halloween and had someone come in who was hit in the face with a beer bottle. He had a laceration across his forehead that extended across his eye, splitting it open and even slicing through his iris (the coloured part of the eye). That was memorable – but even more so was that he was dressed as a zombie, so it was hard to tell what blood was real!

A son’s grief

Carrie, Registered Nurse: It was a slow day in the department, so I was in the trauma bay helping the trauma nurse with a patient. The triage nurse was bringing in a new patient with a fast heart rate. As the nurse and patient walked into the bay the patient stopped immediately at the door and said, “I cannot go into that bed, my dad passed way in that bed two weeks ago”. I instantly stopped what I was doing, looked up, and recognized him. I was the trauma nurse the day his dad came in and remember giving him a big hug after we lost his dad. I grabbed his hand and walked him to another acute bed in the department. I continued to be his nurse and we had some great discussions about his dad, the grieving process and how hard it is to lose a loved one.

Secrets of marriage

Dr. Brianne Budlovsky: My husband is a geriatrics fellow, and asks all of his patients who have been married over 40 years what their “secret” is. He usually gets answers like, “compromise”, “be friends first”, and the like. I thought this was cute – so I thought I would try it in the ER. I was seeing an elderly couple for something non-urgent, and learned that they had been married for 50 years, so I asked the question. The husband put his arm around his wife, winked, and said, “Great sex!”

Episodes of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH will be simulcast on the series’ interactive companion website at

The site includes 49 web shorts new this season – here’s just some of stories, about the priorities of a cancer patient, a “serious” finger cut and a creepy crawly in someone’s ear.

Go On Your Trip

That’s Not A Cut