Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Code Black" is still on TV. Did it get any better?

Despite some recent ratings problems, the TV show "Code Black" somehow remains on the air. It has lost viewers after five of the last seven episodes including a whopping 23.8% drop in the all-important 18-49 year-old demographic after the 2/17/16 installment.

It's still viable because of fans like Sharon who said on the ratings website: "The best medical show on. I have been in the medical profession 30 years and it depicts the most true to life situations of any of the medical shows I have watched. Love the show." Sharon must work on the psych floor.

I decided to take another look at it. Having seen the 2/17/16 episode, my opinion hasn't changed. Here's why.

A van full of people dressed as zombies with full makeup was in a crash. You may recall from my last review of this program that I had predicted something similar when I wrote, "Stay tuned for the next episode featuring a bus that tumbles off a narrow mountain road while carrying non-compliant hemophiliacs."

For a while, the docs couldn't tell the real injuries from the ones created by moulage. Very clever.

Two victims from the zombie van crash underwent major surgery—a man who had his ruptured diaphragm repaired and his son who failed conservative management of his injured spleen and required a splenectomy. Father and son spent their entire hospitalizations in the emergency department, and they looked remarkably well postoperatively.

Thanks to some timely counseling by the ED head nurse who got the child to overcome his dislike of the father's fiancée, the man married her in his spacious ED room. Both were in full zombie regalia. The wedding was attended by the son and a number of ED staff including one of the attending physicians who performed the ceremony.

A woman had abdominal pain a few weeks after in-vitro fertilization. She was the wife of a VIP who donated a floor to the hospital. Of course, higher-ups in the organization became involved, and the patient was treated differently than the average patient [at least that was realistic]. She crashed while waiting to have a CT scan and needed emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.

But the piece de resistance for this episode occurred when the surgeon performing the splenectomy on the child asked for a suture [type unspecified]. The camera took a close shot of his hand while the scrub nurse handed him … a scalpel. My research staff captured that moment.

When I was a resident, we had some great scrub nurses. We used to say to them, "Give me what I need, not what I ask for." Maybe that's the case at Angels Memorial too.

Thanks to a sharp-eyed anonymous commenter on a previous post for letting me know about the scalpel incident.


artiger said...

Sounds like a case for entertainment euthanasia

Anonymous said...

Grotesquerie, medical or otherwise, seems to be à la mode on TV. The Cartoon Network is even worse than Code Black and pretty much takes the cake.

Unfortunately for me my niece just can't have enough of it. I have to put up with Uncle Grandpa, Gumball et caterva whenever she comes around.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Artiger, if the ratings keep dropping like they have, it won't be on much longer.

Anon, I try to avoid the Cartoon Network as much as possible.

The Doctor Isn't In said...

Atleast eh Caroon Network doesn't pretend it is real life. We watched one the other night that posed two POTUS candidates in a debate accident. Here to the entire show is held in the ED no use of floor rooms and even an ED attending is used to wheel one candidate all over the hospital in a wheel chair upon command of the candidates election manager. It is no better nor worse then GA or the old ER the like. It would be good to see one that really shows what we do when we are "center stage"
This show has some good backstory but needs a Sidney Sheldon or other similar Physician Consultant to discuss reality and factual presentation
Dr D

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Dr. D, I agree that the backstory isn't bad. I even like a few of the characters such as the head nurse and maybe a couple of the new residents. The thing they do with the patients all staying in the ED forever drives me nuts.

Deborah said...

From what I understand, it's been renewed. And I'm glad. I like it. If I wanted the real thing, I would have gone into the medical field. I prefer entertainment when I sit down to watch TV. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Deborah,apparently renewed but "The people working at “Code Black” and their fans can heave sigh of relief. But Moonves and CBS have been silent as to when second season starts." [http://www.movienewsguide.com/cbs-confirms-renewal-code-black-season-2-release-date-still-uncertain/175039]

I'm glad you enjoy it. If we all liked the same things, life would be pretty dull.

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