ER
Four Corners

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Four Corners

In Trauma Two, Abby and the nurses work frantically to raise Homeless Guy's blood pressure. His body hurts. Elizabeth enters to assist, choosing this moment as the best time to ask about the results of Mark's head scan. "I still have a brain," Mark lies. Elizabeth grouches that six weeks of maternity leave hasn't been nearly enough, then notices fluid in Morrison's Pouch, which if I remember right is a small vacation spot in southern Australia. Mark makes note of the patient's internal bleeding, but wonders whether some of the symptoms are a complication of cirrhosis and discovers the man's blood-alcohol level is 3.15. Wow. My ex-boyfriend's GPA was lower. Mark and Elizabeth bark medical stats back and forth, which turns into an argument about the man's suitability for surgery. "He's high-risk," Mark determines. "Even riskier if he bleeds out," Corday counters. Oh, get a room, you two.

Elizabeth and Mark opt for the hallway instead. "He's a homeless alcoholic with pneumonia," Mark points out. Elizabeth, incensed, wonders whether her hubby is implying that such a man doesn't deserve full treatment. "He's as healthy as he can get right now, and I'm trying to keep it that way," insists Mark. "Surgery could kill him." Corday snipes, "Delaying surgery could kill him." By now, they've moved into reception, and initiate the conversation we heard earlier to the effect that surgery won't help the man if he's so weak that dogs attack and eat him in a cold, dark alley. Shut up, Mark. That's precious oxygen you're wasting. Randi interrupts with Romano's summons, and Mark departs up to the demon's lair.

"M&Ms," sighs Romano. "They serve a purpose in the practice of medicine, I guess, but they're a pain in the ass." He heard Mark is presenting Fossen the Serial Killer, and warns him that the legal department flagged something unusual about the case notes. He pauses. "No big deal," Romano insists. "It's their job to be anal." It seems there's an unusual time lag between Fossen's departure from the trauma ward and the code-blue notes from pre-op -- seventeen minutes, to be exact, during which he was in Mark's care and his heart stopped. Romano wonders why a four-floor ascent took so long, but just as a cornered Mark stammers his answer, Romano's assistant Brenda barges in with word that Zombie plummeted four floors and splatted in the ambulance bay. Romano is pissed -- not because an unattended patient leapt to her death, but that the suicidal impulse came at so inconvenient a moment. What if he'd been in the bathroom? I mean, really. Waving Brenda out of the room, Romano gives Mark thirty seconds or less to explain the time lapse without using the words "I helped him die." Mark obliges. "I was alone doing chest compressions and ran down the defibrillator battery," he says. "It took time to get help and transfer the patient to pre-op." Romano is fine with this half-assed explanation, mostly because he's not interested in seeing Greene throw his entire ass into anything. "I don't think anyone's going to be crying over this guy, do you?" Romano smirks. Ah! The Jinx Fairy's out two bucks tonight.

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