“I need to speak to Dr. Pluto Blum, not the comatose patient.” Police detective Furdus Nosh flashed her badge and ID to the ICU clerk. Nosh had short red hair which could have been cut in a men’s barbershop. Her navy blue suit jacket was cut loose, to accommodate and cover her automatic pistol and handcuffs. She did carry a handbag. Her suit pants were typical female form-fitting tight. She had always wondered why TV or Hollywood detectives were never shown with handbags. Every female detective she knew carried one. It was a necessity for carrying all her stuff.
“He’s with another patient. I’ll send him right over.” The ICU nurse left Nosh watching the electrically driven ventilator assisting Feldman’s breathing efforts via an endotracheal tube taped at her mouth.
Dr. Pluto Blum was a head taller than Nosh’s 5-foot-10. He broke into her fixation with the cycling respirator. “I’m Dr. Blum, can I help you?”
“Oh, what? Excuse me; I guess I was getting hypnotized by the sounds of the machine and the lack of Ms. Feldman’s response. I mean, what would happen if the machine was to stop?”
“Nothing dramatic for ICU. An alarm would sound but Ms. Feldman would go on breathing normally. The patient is breathing on her own. The ventilator merely assists her respiratory efforts. The endotracheal tube going into her mouth and down her windpipe is to protect her lungs from any unswallowed secretions. Her worst enemy right now is infection.” Blum looked at Nosh’s business card the ICU nurse had given him. “You’re Detective Nosh?”
“Yes. I looked at all the ER records and interviews with the ER doctors and staff. They were at a loss to explain why Ms. Feldman is unresponsive. What about you?” She deliberately put her elbows back, opening up her jacket to expose her law-enforcement equipment.
“Why are the police involved in this situation?” Blum asked.
“Right now Lisa Feldman’s an out of town visitor once in apparent good health and found unconscious in the stairwell of an upscale New York City hotel.” She looked up from her notepad. “There were no bruises noted to indicate she had fallen. For some reason Ms. Feldman decided to take the stairs and must have sat down with a subsequent total collapse.”
“We’re checking on any possible medical background from her home of record, but we don’t have anything yet.” Blum flipped through the order sheet. “A drug screen was ordered.”
“You’ve seen overdoses before, I’m sure. From a clinical perspective do you think she might have OD’d on something addictive?” Nosh looked up at Blum, noticing his dark brown eyes and neat short parted light brown hair. She tried to place the brand of his crisp cologne.
“All I can say for now is there’s no evidence something was injected–self or otherwise. And so far there’s no indication of metabolic problems like from diabetes, or an adrenal gland crisis.” He produced a thin smile as Nosh prolonged her eye contact. “I still don’t see how this is a police case.”
“A few more questions for you and then I’ll give you the reason I’m here.” She maintained her eye contact noting how often he blinked as she spoke. “As you know, the NYPD forensic team confiscated Ms. Feldman’s clothes
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