Day 227, week 46: ooh, doctor!

It was OldSmoothie who pointed out to me months ago that medical records are littered with coded acronyms.  In-jokes for the medics who don’t dream that those same records might one day end up in a court of law.  The one he was at pains to explain was an entry he had spotted which said, “TUBE”.  Apparently this was very commonly used in the past and refers to a “totally unnecessary breast examination.”  Then there’s “NFN” or “normal for Norfolk” which refers, perhaps unfairly, to that particular county’s reputation for in-breeding.  Curiously, the Scots apparently use Fife instead of Norfolk.  One that you’d hope not to see on the record of anyone you are fond of is “TF BUNDY” which though I’ll spare you the full details basically stands for “totally [finished] but unfortunately not dead yet”.  Oh, and of course, there’s “LOBNH” which is “lights on but nobody’s home”. 

Well, that was all certainly an eye-opener for me.  However, it doesn’t stop there as there’s also plenty to be gleaned from the medico-legal reports themselves.  They’re often full of innuendo and you don’t have to think very hard to work out, for example, that when a male doctor fancies a patient he calls her “this attractive lady” or when she couldn’t fit through the door he describes her as “somewhat large”.  However, today a doctor outdid himself. 

Under marital status he wrote:  “Single.  Right-handed.”

August 21, 2007 · Tim Kevan · 5 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

5 Responses

  1. anon - August 21, 2007

    Actually the TF BUNDY anacronym seems to be a regional thing. Where I come from , the terminology employed runs along the lines of FUBAR BUNDY as in (Flipped – use the imagination, I’m bieng polite!) up beyond all recognition, but unfortunately not dead yet.
    A common use of latin for lazy and non compliant ward based patients is ” Plumbum Pendulans”. Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink, Say no more…..

  2. Sarah - August 22, 2007

    Has BabyB seemed his own medical report yet? Are their going to be any TLA in there?

  3. FS - August 23, 2007

    SSOAP Sandwich short of a picnic !!

  4. fran - August 28, 2007

    One could of course refer to the old US term SNAFU!

  5. Peter - November 9, 2007

    Some more:
    FLK – Funny Looking Kid (often seen in paediatric notes)
    DFO – Drunk, Fell Over