Emergency medicine

He’s been ‘out’ all night

Gordian Fulde



Emergencies can spring up 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

You are a GP doing a regular shift in the emergency department of an inner city hospital. It is the middle of the ‘round’ – an eight-hourly ritual of taking stock of patients and problems in the emergency department.

The ‘bat phone’ rings. All emergency departments have one. It is a phone without a dial; it has a peculiar ring or siren and is a direct line from ambulance. The emergency department is being notified about a critically ill patient ‘three minutes out’.