A sneak peek into tonight’s episode of 24 Hours in A&E “Boys will be boys”
The RTS award-winning documentary series returns for a twelfth series following patients treated in the same 24 hour period at St George’s in south west London. 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.
This episode focuses on a group of male patients who are at different stages when it comes to growing up and taking responsibility for their actions.
Consultant Sunil is in charge of Resus today “people value my calmness…if you lose your head its no good to anyone. Once you are a consultant …you have to start acting like a grown up. For me I think growing up is when you have responsibility for someone else. Some people never grow up and other people grow up before their time.”
30 year old Chris is being rushed to St George’s hospital after being injured in a shooting. He has a wound to his abdomen.
His mum Mandy has been made aware of the accident but doesn’t know the detail that her son has been shot.
“It was all very vague. I imagined all sorts of terrible things could have happened.” says Mandy
On arrival at the hospital, it becomes clear that Chris has been injured with an air rifle during a game with his friend Jack. Jack fired the inside shaft of a biro pen deep into Chris’ abdomen.
The wound could lead to a life threatening hemorrhage if it isn’t dealt with quickly. The medical team rushes to survey the extent of Chris’ injuries by taking him for a CT scan. Consultant Sunil suspects that Chris’ bowel is damaged and leaking internally.
“If it’s not treated quickly enough people can die.” he says.
Meanwhile, in the waiting room 19 year old college student Lennon has come in to A&E with his friend Jeremy. He has a head injury after jumping into a door frame whilst kicking a balloon. His dad Mark is on his way from home to join him at the hospital.
“My first thought was that it was typical of Lennon. He wasn’t even supposed to be at college that day. He’d gone back for a birthday party.”
Whilst Lennon and Jeremy entertain themselves in the waiting room and await treatment from the Emergency team, Mark muses about fatherhood, growing up and his special relationship with his son.
“The moment he was born I felt really connected to him.” says Mark “He was really cool, he slept through, he had loads of character… Even though me and his mum weren’t together we maintained that parenting responsibility together…on the whole I think we kept things settled and safe for him. And he loved having two bedrooms”
Later on, the red phone rings to announce the arrival of an adult priority call. 74 year-old Stafford is on his way to St George’s because his internal cardiac defibrillator, attached to his heart, keeps shocking him.
His wife Cathie has been informed of the situation and is on her way to see Stafford. “I always knew that there was a chance he could die because the heart is the heart and if the heart fails the heart fails. So It really brought it back to me that this could be the end.”
Doctors have to try to work out whether the issue is with Stafford’s heart or with a faulty defibrillator. While the team in Resus treats Stafford, his wife Cathie talks about their marriage, their children and their shared belief in God.