Feeling the heat on ’24 Hours in A&E’
Episode seven of Channel 4’s hit drama documentary focuses on patients treated on a busy evening at the height of summer.
“Some people, they go out and have far too much to drink… get into fights…and do somebody some pretty significant damage. It’s very difficult to understand how there are people in society like that,” says St George’s A&E clinical director Phil. “But that’s why we’re always here. We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We’re not going anywhere.”
18-year-old student George is brought to resus following a fight at a party. He has blood coming from his ears, is disorientated and is behaving erratically, swearing at staff and his family.
“He’s never called me names, he’s never sworn. He’s normally really polite,” says George’s worried mum Maxine. “He just didn’t look right, he just didn’t look himself. He looked really, really drunk like he’d taken something.”
But blood tests show no evidence of drugs and only a small trace of alcohol in his system. Consultant Phil is concerned that George may have suffered a life-threatening bleed on his brain and sends him for an urgent scan. George may need emergency brain surgery.
40-year-old doorman Alfred is rushed to A&E after being stabbed three times outside the social club where he works. With wounds to the chest, abdomen and eye, junior doctor Simon is concerned that Alfred could have suffered serious internal injuries.
“I’ve seen people with a tiny little entry wound on their abdomen with a nasty liver injuries,” says Simon. “If they hit any sort of big blood vessel, they can lose a lot of blood very quickly.”
Meanwhile 28-year-old schoolteacher Niall is brought into St George’s by his boyfriend John with a suspected ulcer on his eye after falling asleep with his contact lenses in.
Light is so painful for Niall that John had to tape some tin foil over a pair of swimming goggles for him. Emergency nurse practitioner Becky attempts to ease Niall’s pain and examines his eyes to look for signs of the ulcer.
Niall and John met at a party. “He cooked me beef wellington from scratch on our fourth date and he plays the piano. He can play any tune you want him to play,” says John. “I decided that he was a keeper after a couple of weeks.”