24 Hours in A&E returns with new series
The RTS award-winning documentary series returns for a thirteenth series tonight (Wednesday 31 May) following patients treated in the same 24 hour period at St George’s. The hospital has one of the busiest A&E departments in Britain – under more pressure than ever. It’s a place where stories of life, love and loss unfold every day.
Tonight’s episode “Just Seventeen” features three young men from different walks of life, who come to St George’s after a variety of incidents.
17-year-old Shea is brought to St George’s after a serious knife assault. Doctors are concerned about the seriousness of his injuries, “We have to expect the worst when the patient comes in” explains Consultant Rathan.
As Shea is examined, his Mum Charmaine tells us how she felt when she received the call informing her about the incident, “your children are gifts, you realise how precious they are and they can be taken away in such a short time”. Shea is taken for urgent CT scans to see if the knife has penetrated any vital organs. As mum Charmaine travels to St George’s to be by his side, she talks about the struggles she experienced raising her children. She and Shea were very close when he was young but in his teenage years they began to clash more and more. Now with Shea’s blood pressure becoming dangerously low, Charmaine fears the worst, “that he would die”. After studying the scans, doctors are worried that the knife has damaged Shea’s liver and he’s transferred to a high dependency unit. Charmaine reflects on the terrible events of that day, “I feel that actually that there were two lives that day that were affected, I believe that he was as big a victim as Shea.”
17 year-old Bob is in A&E after impaling his leg on a fence. He was on his way home from his boy’s school in London when he took a short cut and jumped over the fence. Mum Kathy has rushed to St George’s to be with her son and recalls that even as a child Bob was very independent and strong willed. Bob is taken for scans of his leg and Kathy talks about her son’s ambitions for the future. “He is very keen on being a diplomat for some reason, he’s not awfully diplomatic sometimes!” As Bob waits for further treatment, the true impact of the injury dawns on him when he realises he’s has ruined moleskins trousers.
Meanwhile, 33 year-old James arrives by ambulance after fainting at home. He has just been released after spending four weeks in hospital with a fractured skull as a result of an altercation on Brighton beach after a friend’s funeral. He’s taken for a CT scan of his head and reflects on how his job as a tree surgeon keeps him feeling young “I’m 33 and I feel 17!” After the scan, doctors notice a bleed and try to determine whether this is a new bleed or if this is a result of the first injury.
James’ mum arrives at the hospital to be with him. James says how close he is to his mum and how she stayed with him in hospital after the alleged assault, “Mum slept by my bed for seven days”. Doctors are concerned that James may be facing long-term problems as a result of the head injury and subsequent blackout and is handed over to a specialist medical team for neurological assessment.
Notes to editors
Series Producer/Directors: Martin Conway, Lucie Duxbury and Gemma Brady
Executive Producers: Hamo Forsyth and Spencer Kelly
Production Company: The Garden Productions