’24 Hours in A&E’ is back at St George’s for another series!
The RTS award-winning documentary series returns for a second series from its new home, St George’s in south west London, which has one of Britain’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments.
In this week’s episode (showing on Wednesday 7th January at 9pm on Channel 4) staff and patients discuss how A&E is a place where support really matters, but these days that support doesn’t always come in the form of a traditional family, but in all kinds of variations.
“I don’t expect to see a mother and a father or a husband and a wife,” says consultant Rhys. It’s more than being someone who just dishes out prescriptions and treatment. I’ve got all these people from all walks of life and I can learn something from all these people.”
13-year-old Will arrives by helicopter after colliding with someone during a game of baseball. He lost consciousness at the scene and medics are concerned that he may have sustained serious internal head injuries.
As doctors give Will a CT scan to find out how badly he is hurt, his mum Vicki describes what happened. “Will’s school had been trying to get hold of us to tell us to get to the school quickly,” she says. “They put him into the helicopter, he was tied down to the stretcher. You feel that it must be a lot more serious than a normal sporting injury.”
While they await the scan results, the medical team are concerned that Will hasn’t spoken since the incident and try to get him to talk.
Later, 20-year-old pizza delivery rider Chris is brought in to Resus after being knocked off his motorbike. He has sustained a very bad break to his right leg and doctors have to stabilize him before scanning the injury. While the medical team prepare Chris for surgery, he reflects on the accident and talks about his life, his work, motorbikes and losing his mum to cancer when he was still at school.
“You feel like ‘Oh God, I’ve lost my mum!’. You feel like that kid in the supermarket that doesn’t have his mum because he’s gone off to look at toothpaste” He says “That kid’s going ‘What am I without my mum, I’ve always been attached to her and now she’s gone where is she?’.”
Meanwhile in the paediatric area of A&E, teenage parents Connor and Saffron have arrived with their 6-month-old daughter Amira after their GP spotted an irregular heart beat during a routine check up. The paediatric team examine baby Amira while her worried mum and dad look on.
As they wait for news, Saffron talks about how they got together. “I used to stay at the house and in the room there would just be candles and shit everywhere,” she says. “It was a bit cheesy, but it was a bit sweet as well.”
And Connor describes how he found out that Saffron was pregnant. “She sent me a text,” he says. “She put a load of faces on her phone – happy faces, sad faces and question marks – and then she just said ‘I’m pregnant’.”