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Emergency medicine

An erect emergency

Gordian Fulde

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Abstract

Emergencies can occur at any time and in many incarnations. Are you adequately equipped to deal with them? Each month we present a case study in emergency medicine based on real cases and events. Would you have been able to help this patient?

Article Extract

Another evening shift with a full emergency department. It’s the usual Monday evening – lots of admitted patients ‘log jammed’ (or ‘access blocked’), unable to go to ward beds in spite of cancellations of booked admissions.

Everybody is tense and cranky. The senior administrators have been ordering everybody around (often counterproductive) because of the political pressure.

There are several transfers to neighbouring hospitals and nursing homes because there are no postoperative beds. As anyone can easily imagine, having to ring around, persuade patients and relatives, arrange transport and write the necessary letters is a very inefficient and time consuming effort.

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