WhiteCoat

Fretching

Ever have someone complain of vomiting? Just like your car works fine when you take it to the auto mechanic, vomiting patients never seem to vomit when you see them.

Well one lady today decided she wanted to drive the point home that she was *really* sick. So she began retching loudly over and over again as if she was going to vomit. Everyone ran around pulling the cabinets apart looking for a vomit basin. They found one, rushed to hold it under the patient’s chin, and then she hawks up a little loogie and spits in the bottom of the bowl. Everybody just threw up their arms in the air, rolled their eyes and walked away. No ma’am, that’s not vomit, it’s saliva. Possibly a small amount of sputum mixed in, but the predominant composition is saliva.

After the patient left, I commented about how the people who retch never seem to get up any stomach contents. My nurse called the process “fretching” – fake retching. Congrats, Colleen – your new word is the first post on the blog. Will submit this to Websters for their consideration next year.

Update: Although not contained in the dictionary, the word “fretch” has been used before. Rats.

6 Responses to “Fretching”

  1. […] quick succession. I stood there dumbfounded while the patient rolled onto the floor and vomited (no fretching this time). The attending walked out of the room and told me to discharge the patient with a […]

  2. mousie says:

    Hmmm, I had a patient the other day who claimed to have been vomiting “undigested food, persistently and repeatedly, for the past 12 hours” despite simultaneously claiming to have eaten nothing for the past 3 days, due to her “severe nausea.”

    Do you think this could be a new medical condition I’ve discovered?

  3. mousie says:

    Hmmm, I had a patient the other day who claimed to have been vomiting “undigested food, persistently and repeatedly, for the past 12 hours” despite simultaneously claiming to have eaten nothing for the past 3 days, due to her “severe nausea.”

    Do you think this could be a new medical condition I’ve discovered?

  4. […] had brought him in with headaches from a brain tumor. He was moaning loudly, holding his head, and fretching […]

  5. […] by WhiteCoat on July 21, 2008 It has now been 365 days since I grew the gonads to post this on the internet for the world to […]

  6. […] You feel bad for the guy except that no one in the ED has ever seen him vomit. Sure, he’ll fretch when it suits his needs, but no one can ever remember seeing a sample of the Mayor’s gastric […]

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