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Snow has always meant good business for autobody shops and emergency rooms.
So Young Pak, spokesperson for Washington Hospital Center, says there is a certain type of customer who comes into her workplace at times like these.
“We’ve been seeing people with chest pains, people with broken bones, and people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning,” she says. “That’s whenever it snows, and we’ve been seeing them this week.”
Pak could not confirm that any of the folks recently admitted with chest pains were of the cliched, shoveling-while-out-of-shape variety. “That really happens,” she says.
Pak also says she’s not sure exactly what this latest batch of carbon monoxide poisoned people did to end up in ER. But in past snows they’ve seen patients who OD’d on CO2 after they “brought in their grill or some type of furnace into the house” and fired it up.
Indoor BBQing? Really?
“Really. It happens,” she says.
Pak said she could not predict that the awful weather this February will be followed by a boom in her delivery room come November. “There’s a theory that when people can’t go anywhere, that will happen,” she says. “But I don’t know.”
Pak says that the storm has left Washington Hospital Center, the largest medical facility in the D.C. area with 926 beds, ready to hang the “No Vacancy” sign. In fact, if you want a room, better stop reading this and fire up the hibachi in the living room.
“We’ve been busy, busy,” she says. “We’re basically full.”
Pak says that because of the volume of customers, many staff members have been sleeping at the hospital since Friday rather than go home and risk not being able to get back. So many folks stayed over, in fact, that last night management threw an all-night movie party, free popcorn and soft drinks included, for the hospital-bound workers.
The playlist? Rumor Has It, Bridget Jones Diary: the Edge of Reason, Iron Man, The Lake House, The DaVinci Code, and Death Sentence.
Beats chest pains, I guess.