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Emergency medicine

He’s been ‘out’ all night

Gordian Fulde

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Abstract

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’.

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