• Member Since 6th Mar, 2014
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1. Finish Office Love, 2. Make more Physical Books


Redheart says goodbye to a patient.

Edited by R5H and anonpencil
Pre-read by Zontan, Flashgen, Koren, Lofty Withers

3rd place in The Seer's Spookfic Contest

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 63 )

Loved this one through and through and I was so happy to see how amazingly you interpreted my prompt.
The ending is so well set up, and the reveal never feels cheap or OTT, it's a stunner for sure :twilightsmile:

Huk #2 · Feb 8th, 2020 · · ·

And this is why paper charts should be replaced with tablet/computer records that cannot be deleted... :unsuresweetie:

Pretty sad, really, makes you wonder how often does that happens in real life :applejackunsure:.

Huk #3 · Feb 8th, 2020 · · ·

I don't think this story needs a Gore tag, though...

Very sad and moving story.

A very realistic and horrific circumstance that may happen more than we think. Starts as just a horrible thing to see happen, but then does a great job building up to the reveal.

Damn it, you’ve got me crying here. 😭😭😭

I'll upvote anything featuring Redheart.

Based on tags and vibe I do not think I can read this, sadly. But I can't read most things anyway due to insanity and time.

Props to her bravery for just going straight through a literal ghost. Didn't even stop to consider that it was a ghost, just keep walking and go about your life.

Good twist.

Not a murderer for for doing her job, but for failing to do her job properly

The title does give it away, though


Really good story. Thanks for writing it.

Pretty sure that's the horror of the story, the fact that even with the ghost of the pony she essentially mudered, her job means more to the point where she won't confess her fault, evident with the fact that she tears the records without second thought and walks along as if nothing happened, especially right through them rather than around

This story’s really tightly written and the pacing is completely on point. My only gripe is that the difference between 5mg and 50 is enough that I feel like whatever pharmacist Lyra took the prescription to would probably warn her about doing too much, but of course that depends on if Redheart was also the one dealing the medication or not. Really strong stuff overall.

Those are WAY easier to hack, edit and delete than most realize, not to mention the problems an EMP would create. Really you need a combination to protect the files.

Ha fail nurse commits a cringe crime

Huk #22 · Feb 8th, 2020 · · 4 ·


I work for a company that writes such software, and I write software for a living. Every time I hear such a statement, it reminds me of this 'hacking':

The authors of Blood Dragon took every cheesy 'hacking' technique and placed it there. Too bad the reality is not Hollywood...

What is exactly easy to hack? The mobile client used on the tablet? Yeah, sure... Take a random Android/iOS/Windos app that uses a secured database and try to hack it, I dare you. And server? Even worse. Unless some moron wrote that app, and/or configured the server disregarding basic security features, you won't get far. Servers are mostly hacked because some idiot sets a password like:


And think he's clever. But even in such cases, they're still backups (unless they messed that up too, but that's rare).

The way something like that should work is simple: you type something on your tablet, 10 seconds later, it's sent to a central server/cloud. You can change history if you want, but all the changes will be visible forever. This is a very simple yet effective system.

Ever since tablets showed up, the problem is not technology, but pushback. Every time we try to implement such a system, a lot of people in the medical field starts whining about how they prefer paper instead :trixieshiftright:. That's the only reason why in most countries, records are still not fully digitalized.

Mica #23 · Feb 8th, 2020 · · 2 ·

Short and sweet. Nicely done. At first I was gonna say it was something about coronavirus, but then I read to the end. :twilightblush:

I'm the background character in the worst moment of two ponies’ lives.

I really liked this line.

Almost happened to me, in real life. Idiots at the town hospital where I was admitted registered my problem as a "heart attack" and pumped me full of medication to fix heart failure. I went home, didn't get any better. Spent the better half a month up in the living room with heaters blowing on me wrapped up in blankets and comforters because I couldn't get warm. Got admitted back to the hospital, they couldn't figure out what was wrong so they sent me to the county hospital in a bigger city. They figured out what was wrong but couldn't treat it. I was shipped to the State hospital where they treated me for what the ACTUAL problem was, a Thyroid Storm that mimicked a heart attack. My Thyroid was out of whack from drinking to many energy drinks to stay awake during my night shift job. But this does hit hard. Good story.

To tie in that whole rant with the story, I did ask one of my nurses if they'd ever had to administer a deadly dose of something to stop someone's pain or do as the patients family wished. They did actually have to be the one to administer a lethal dose for a medically induced assisted suicide. It hurts the nurses a LOT worse than it hurts the family or friends because the nurse is the one who administers it so they're the ones who see the patient last as the light fades from their eyes.

My God, not only did this just hit really hard in the heart, but you managed to do it with such a great impact! GAH DAMN! This is brilliantly written! Hope ya didn't mind, but I coudln't resist! I had to make a reading of it!

Audio Linko!: https://youtu.be/UKgHDZU1v9s

(I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment!)

I am never going to a hospital again.

This was... not what I was expecting to say the least.

Pharmacist wouldn't ask. They would just assume that it was for a yak.


Completely replaced? No, absolutely not.

Using both paper and computer records would be quite better.
Possibly more complicated but much better still.



Better for whom? Definitely not for the patient that wants his medical history accurate, not falsified and easily transferable...

Using tablets/laptops/phones/whatever is not only for taking notes. Medical systems are used to catch mistakes, such as the one Redheart did in the story. If Redheart had used a tablet to enter the dosage, she would have got an immediate warning after typing 50 mg instead of 5, and Lyra would probably be alive.

This is not a fantastic scenario, but a real-world deal where thousands of lives could be saved every year if only all the records were digitized. And that's just for starters.

That's actually not the case. Wired has an excellent 5 part article on how electronic systems and small human errors led to a massive overdose that would have been caught if the system was human-only. Which is not to say that these systems need to be banned, but simply that assuming everything will work perfectly once it's computerized is quite wrong. The first part of the article is titled "How Technology Led a Hospital To Give a Patient 38 Times His Dosage", and I really recommend giving it a read.



... *sigh* yes, if software is crappy, mistakes will happen, as with everything. But you know what the difference is? When the error is found and fixed, it won't happen again. On the other hand, human errors will ALWAYS happen no matter the training and experience because we're not machines.

If you want a solution where mistakes won't be made, then I'm afraid there is no such thing. Either way, someone will die - either from the error of the overworked nurse or from the failure of the programmer that coded the software. Such is life. But only in the latter case, we can fix the error and make sure it won't happen again. That's the strength of software over human.

Computers are there to minimize our errors and in 9/10 that works great. Should we stop digitization just because 1/10 cases it needs some tuning :unsuresweetie:?

I don't think that a prescription addressed to 'Lyra Heartstrings' would easily pass for a yak's—the pharmacist would be looking a pony in the eyes and selling her ten times the normal dosage of a medication that could kill another pony if taken in excess. You'd also probably have a second record from the pharmacist that says that 50mg of meds were sold to a pony. (The discovery of which would make for an amazing sequel, by the way)

I'm not trying to say that the dosage is story-breaking, and I understand that there was only a certain amount of words that the author could work with, but I was just saying that if you think about it a little more it's a difficult pill to swallow.


... *sigh* yes, if software is crappy, mistakes will happen, as with everything. But you know what the difference is? When the error is found and fixed, it won't happen again. On the other hand, human errors will ALWAYS happen no matter the training and experience because we're not machines.

Unless it breaks down the line with a software update, or because something was lined incorrectly in the tables, or... Lets put it bluntly when you work in software. Things break, and things break that were formerly fixed and to put 100% trust in the software is going to end in tears.


it's a difficult pill to swallow.



Everything could be done with computers, but everything still needs to be printed clearly in papers.

Huk #39 · Feb 9th, 2020 · · 3 ·


That's why we software developers have these magic safeguards like unit tests, integration tests, normal tests, continuous integrations, and a few others. And believe it or not, but even in crappies software, those can catch 99% of errors caused by updates.

But if you want 100% percent guarantee that something like the Therac-25 medical accelerator or National Cancer Institute in Panama City debacles won't happen, you won't get it. Programmers are people too, you know... :unsuresweetie:

If we were to always assume the worst, then after Boeing 737 MAX, we should have grounded all fly by wire planes, because 'there may be an error in software!' There is a word for that, paranoia :trixieshiftleft:.


You do realize that the only reason why we still need to print stuff, is because the law is not on par with technology, and requires it on paper, right:rainbowderp:? There is no technical reason for it, sending a PDF would be better for everyone involved. Thankfully the law is slowly changing (over here, at least), hopefully in 10-20 years everything will be digitized, and printing will no longer be necessary.


As a software developer myself, I concur:pinkiecrazy:! Most code sucks, and we make tons of mistakes... And I would still trust that buggy software 100 times more than a human:trollestia:.

Like it or not, we already rely on computers to function - electrification, cell phones, internet, cars, banking, airplanes, etc. And all in all, digitalization was a positive experience, not negative. Just because accident can happen (and will happen) doesn't mean we should get back to 'good' old times of pen and paper :facehoof:.

I always find it fascinating how people get paranoid over a single accident involving software. Being 737 MAX is a perfect example. Boeing pushed the plane without proper testing to meet the deadlines, the plane crashed 3 times, killing people, and already PANIC! People calling that 'Fly by wire is dangerous!', 'Planes are overcomplicated!', 'Pilots should fly manually instead of relying on computers!' bla bla bla.

The truth is, ever since Airbus decided to go with complete fly by wire system something like 40 years ago, it has been proven to be extremely safe design, because... SURPRISE! Computers usually know BETTER :duck:. It's MUCH safer than the manual, or even mixed flying in most situations, but of course, if an error happens once every 40 years, we should dump all the computers, and get back to 'good' old times of manual flying, were crashes were a common thing... People calling for this insanity somehow misses the fact that 80% of plane crashes are still due to PILOT ERROR :facehoof:.

This was a chilling read. good job.


the pharmacist would be looking a pony in the eyes and selling her ten times the normal dosage of a medication that could kill another pony if taken in excess.

We are talking about a shot that the nurse delivered herself, not a prescription she gave Lyra to buy in a normal pharmacy. In such case, the nurse's mistake in dosage is possible.
However, it should be mentioned that overdose of a common drug like flu injection probably won't be fatal, and even if it is, the symptoms should be distinct enough for doctor to recognize. It would be more probable in my opinion for Lyra to get a common nutrient infusion but the nurse made a mistake in preparing the solution that caused her kidney failure later on. The symptoms could start quite slowly and difficult to trace back to error in infusion days before.

10076257 An 'overdose' of a flu vaccine is actually virtually impossible... unless you try injecting half a gallon of it.

10075912 Because aps NEVER fail horribly... (snickers condescendingly while glancing sideways at the Iowa Caucus.)

10075500 As an unfortunate user of Windows 10... I have less trust in computers than ever before.


10073857 You'd be terrified to know how often it happens DELIBERATELY.

But seriously, what the hell were they giving for the flu that would cause brain death at merely 10 times the regular dose? There are so many medications that WOULD be fatal at that great a mistaken dose, but not flu medication.

No one in medicine would prescribe a medication so potentially deadly at such a low dose for something as simple as the flu.

Ibuprofen has an LD/50 of 636 mg/kg (or about 32,000 mg for a 50kg person). A typical dose for a headache is 600 mg. 10 times that would be only 6,000 mg, FAR below the median lethal dose.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is usually give at 25 mg dosages. I've had up to 125 mg for anaphylaxis. The LD50 is 500 mg/kg (25,000 mg for a 50kg person.)

Also consider how many people take a bottle of pain pills in a suicide attempt, and still manage to survive! They often get 20-50 times the normal dose.

I can't even begin to imagine what on earth they'd be giving for the flu that would be so dangerous at merely 10x the normal dose. It's not like Lyra was getting chemo or heart medication!

The story itself says

One week ago, a patient visited the hospital at the busiest point in the day. Flu-like symptoms. Prescribed a flu medication.

So it wasn't a shot given directly by Nurse Redheart.

In all fairness, we are talking about a fantasy world with magical pastel ponies, so it can always be argued that the medication was a magic infused potion that worked differently from real world medicines.

But yeah, we can say the author is not very familiar with medicine, that much is obvious. And I do think a little bit of research should always be done to ensure the logic and immersion of the story. There is indeed a lot of logical issues unanswered with this story.

First and foremost is the fact that no other medical staff of the hospital ever questioned the sudden turn of Lyra's illness. Normally if someone immediately comes down with such severe condition that has nothing to do with their previous illness after receiving the medication, questions will be raised and procedure will be checked right away. One way to circumvent this problem is for Lyra's condition to get worse not immediately but several days after the treatment, and for her condition to mimic another illness. But then we have to ask the question how the (allegedly magical) flu medication worked and how it could result in such condition with an overdose. Of course there could be important differences between the overdose and the illness everypony thought Lyra succumbed to, and there could be trails and bread crumbs of minute evidence in her symptoms that somepony else could uncover and trace back to Redheart's mistake. That could make for a thrilling followup story of this one, if the author feels dedicated to.


Prescribed a flu medication.

This sentence means that the patient (Lyra) was prescribed the flu medication by a doctor, and Red Heart did the injection.

But that still doesn't make sense. In that case, why all the drama with the ripping up of the prescription? If a doctor prescribed Lyra the wrong dose, then it's the doctor's fault as well, but the story makes it all about Redheart.

The story's also in first person.

Prescribed a flu medication.

This sentence is in Redheart's head. She's referring to herself prescribing Lyra flu medication.

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