A sneak peek into tonight’s episode of 24 Hours in A&E “Flesh and Blood”
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 the up and downs of family life and how people pull together to get through them.
53 year old Pam is rushed to A&E after suffering a suspected heart attack. Her daughter Meg was woken up when her younger sister raised the alarm. “It was a Friday night, we’d been out for dinner with my Dad…Everything was fine and then at about half 12 my younger sister woke me up… All I saw was Mum… And she was completely red in the face, gasping for breath.”
As Pam travels to St George’s, Registrar Simin explains why the symptoms of a heart attack are so concerning “regardless of how fit you are, it is still one of the things that can actually kill you, its like handling a ticking bomb.” As she arrives in resus, doctors decide to take emergency blood tests and Simin explains why it’s important to act quickly when a patient arrives with chest pain and a racing heart, “you can be talking to a patient one minute and they can deteriorate so quickly, that’s why you need to be ready for anything.”
As doctors bring Pam’s heart rate under control with medication, they are still unsure as to whether an underlying condition or a heart attack has caused her chest pain. As doctors monitor her heart rate, her daughter Meg talks about how her bond with her Mum has strengthened over the years “she’s kind of my best friend… We literally can read each others minds.” Meg reminisces about holidays spent with her Mum, Dad and two sisters on the coast in the Witterings. She reveals how she helped her Mum when her parents decided to get divorced, “I felt like I had to be support to her just as she was support to us.” As Simin waits to find out whether or not Pam has suffered a heart attack, Meg reveals how her Mum recently lost her own father to a heart attack and how difficult it was the be facing the same fate again.
10 year old Cora is rushed to St George’s after being thrown from a horse into the low hanging branches of a tree. Her Mother Sharon was informed of the accident by her riding instructor and rushed to the scene, “she was on the floor under this big tree, she had blood all over her face… and… this piece of wood sticking out just under her eye.” As she arrives at the scene, doctors work quickly to assess whether or not she has also injured her neck, spine or brain. After Cora is transferred to the specialist paediatric emergency department, Sharon talks about how Cora’s birth was even more joyous than usual as it came at the end of a testing period of IVF.
Eight year old Ruben has come to St George’s with his Mum Manuela after falling over and cutting his head whilst playing with his dog. As medics treat his wound, Manuela talks about how she made a surprising career change to give her more time with her children.
Series Producer/Directors: Lucie Duxbury, Gemma Brady, Martin Conway
Executive Producers: Spencer Kelly
Production Company: The Garden Productions