24 hours in A+E - the mad-as-a-fish edition

Our last view (for a while, at least) into Kings A+E. "For God's sakes, get me something for the fucking pain!" some bloke was shouting as the programme opened. Either he had a gunshot wound to the stomach, was in the middle of childbirth, or he was being a wuss. You know what I'm betting on.

Clive woke up confused with a slurrying voice - everyone was thinking 'stroke'. He was conscious enough to compliment his consultant on her youthful looks though, good man. Discussing with his nurse people who go away before exam results come back, he commented that if anything was wrong with him he'd want to know. Six years of fighting off depression (subsequent to alcoholism, sounds like), more bad days than good days. I could see how that would screw up your vascular system. Turns out that the symptoms were due to an accidental overdose of his meds.

Here came Joseph, the pre-announced 16 year old with a query stroke. He was a bit confused about times and dates, apparently remembering yesterday's events as todays. Initially you'd think 'head trauma' but there was no obvious history indicating a mechanism for it. Some unilateral weakness in his leg. Handy for diagnostic purposes having his twin brother there, I'd think. Later confirmed that it was a stroke, fully recovered.

A suicidal person with 74 previous attempts went missing from the department. Jenny the psychiatric nurse was trying to find her. Statistically you'd think there wouldn't be too much risk that this would be the one time her attempts would succeed but I guess you can't stake your job on that. Kings sees more people with mental health needs than any other A+E department in the UK. Lots of schizophrenia, lots of bipolar. I'd hazard a guess there's a strong correlation with homelessness. A lot of them are regular visitors which brings its own set of challenges.

There were funny vignettes with the two girls trying to keep themselves entertained for hours and hours while waiting for treatment for fingers trapped in a collapsible stool. A+E needs more entertaining posters, perhaps 'Where's Wally?'.

We had 28 days of filming in which time 9500 patients came through and 6 died. It may sound a little heartless to say it, but that's not bad going.

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