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From The Gomer Pile

March 14, 1993

The term gomer is actually an acronym popularized by Dr. Samuel Shem in his 1978 book "House of God," and is a derogatory term meaning "Get out of my emergency room" (L.A. Speak, by Kathleen Moloney, Palm Latitudes, Feb. 7). It generally refers to older patients with chronic and debilitating health problems that do not lend themselves to easy cures.

The second error involves the phrase "piggyback the Demerol." Any well-trained nurse (or physician) knows that Demerol is only administered orally, intramuscularly or by slow intravenous push. To hang Demerol piggyback would lead to an uncontrolled infusion of a substance that could lead to respiratory arrest.

DR. ROBERT RIEWERTS, PEDIATRICS

KAISER PERMANENTE, Montebello

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