St George’s is one of the four major trauma centres in London, and our teams have a starring role in Channel 4’s ‘Emergency’, which is back for its second series.

In this first episode, London’s Air Ambulance, paramedics and fire crews are dispatched to 49 year-old Paiwand – a pedestrian trapped underneath a lorry in South London.  Medics need to treat his crush injuries, but first fire crews must lift the 29 tonne HGV to get him out.  Trauma Doctor, Cosmo, recognises it’s a race against time, “there is always the possibility we may have internal bleeding…and he’s therefore at risk of dying on scene.”

Meanwhile, in Central London, Advanced Paramedic Practitioner Pete is on shift in his fast response car.  He is trained to attend the most seriously injured patients.  He soon receives a call for a 13 yearold who has ridden an electric scooter into a lamppost.  On arrival, he finds Alicia with her distressed mum by her side. She has a large gaping wound on the back of her upper leg.  We learn that Alicia had competed in the high jump and won the 100 metres race at her school sports day.   Concerned the handlebar of the scooter has penetrated her thigh and she potentially has a broken leg, Pete bypasses the local hospital and rushes Alicia to The Royal London Major Trauma Centre in Whitechapel, “potentially walking, running, high jump…all the things she was doing…could be affected by this injury.”

In West London, 84 year-old Ralph is at St Mary’s after falling at home. He has an obvious break to his leg, but doctors are concerned about Ralph’s complex medical history. He suffers from heart failure, kidney disease, COPD, cancer, and, as Ralph says in his usual good humour, “dandruff.”  CT scans confirm Ralph needs surgery but as Consultant Geriatrician Michael explains, “patients like Ralph, unfortunately we lose about 1 in 10 of them” due to complications post-surgery.   Michael wants to ensure Ralph is fully aware of the risks.  When given the odds at 50/50 as to whether he will make it home, Ralph says “you’ve got to take a chance haven’t you?”   But Ralph holds back the reality of his situation from his wife of sixty-two years Jean, “he’s always joking…but I do worry…he’s 84.”

Meanwhile, Paiwand is now at King’s College Hospital with a broken arm and a seriously crushed leg.   Orthopaedic Surgeon Ibraheim is preparing for complex surgery to rebuild his leg with rods, plates and screws, “how he will walk again is dramatically impeded if we don’t get this right within a millimetre.”  We hear how Paiwand fled Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s regime 23 years ago and just eight days before the accident, he had returned from visiting his family in Iraq for the first time.  Ibraheim reflects on the patients he treats “old, young, every gender, every race…that’s something I’m very proud of and something us as a nation should be.”