Thanks to reader Terri for submitting the correct answer for what DFO means! I’ll have to think of a good prize for you. Customized medical Spanish-English list? Customized report sheet? Guest post?
To set the scene of when I first heard DFO: I was doing my last rotation of nursing school so I had already deciphered most of the common medical acronyms. But in report a veteran nurse said a patient “DFO’ed.” I could have played it off like I knew what the word meant and then google it later. But I could not think of ANYTHING that made sense. DFO…? Detached Forearm Operation? No… I gave up and asked. Turns out DFO, at least here in the South, means Done Fell Out! It’s actually a pretty great term that basically means “fainted.” Usually the patient was standing, passed out, fell, and probably hit the floor.
Believe it or not, if you look in certain medical dictionaries, DFO is explained!
If a patient DFO’ed at home before they came in, that’s a bad thing. If they DFO’ed at the hospital on your shift, that’s a very, very bad thing. I say I have two rules for my patients, keep breathing and no falling. If your patients can stick to those two basic rules, your shift will be MUCH smoother for the both of you!
Next post will be on one of my favorite terms, “Frequent Flyers!”
Nursing Lingo Part 1: Circling the Drain
Nursing Lingo Part 3: Frequent Flyers