The use of codes is common in hospitals, so as not to alarm other patients. The expression 'cold-tea syndrome' is used by medical staff to indicate that a patient has died. It refers to several cups of undrunk, cold tea on the deceased persons bedside table.
It's good to know the supply of tea doesn't stop coming, just because you're dead. Not to discredit the NHS, but surely there are more scientific methods to determine when someone has died. How much of NHS resources are wasted making tea for the dead. What happens if you just don't drink tea and they throw you out. You'd have people buried yelling:
- I SAID COFFEE, COFFEE TWO SUGARS!!
- Janine, go to ward 3 now, Mrs Norris has caught a bad case of cold-tea syndrome. I would go so far as to say she's never going to recover from it.