Sneak peek into tonight’s episode of 24 Hours in A&E ‘Supporting Cast’
The RTS award-winning documentary series returns for a thirteenth series 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. It’s a place where stories of life, love and loss unfold every day.
This episode focuses on the support offered by friends and family at the most vulnerable times of people’s lives.
64 year old John is brought to St George’s in an induced coma, having been thrown from his bicycle at high speed. John is taken straight for an emergency CT scan as doctors suspect he has major internal injuries. Nurse Emily explains “with a major impact, all of your organs carry on going into your bones… so you can get internal damage and internal bleeding” John’s wife Pauline recounts how normal the day had seemed when John went out for a bike ride.
As doctors continue to scan John, Pauline explains how she has always been an anxious person and was medically retired. Pauline talks of the invaluable support John offered her in dealing with her anxieties “It’s a very lonely place when you don’t have somebody that you can really share with …you don’t have to have loads of friends you just need someone that understands you.”
Initial scans reveal John has severely fractured ribs and a potential bleed on the brain. Doctors insert emergency chest drains and then wait to establish the extent of his brain injuries when they attempt to wake him. Pauline recounts their plans for a shared retirement whilst they were fit and able.
21 year old drama student Florian has come to A&E with fellow drama student Jake, having tripped and hurt his foot rushing to class. Jake and Florian rehearse lines in the waiting room. As Florian is seen by Emergency care practitioner Declan, he explains how he and his family fled war in Kosovo when he was a child and the sacrifices made by his father to get his family to safety.
Finally, 82 year old Ron is brought into resus with a dangerously low heart rate of below 40 beats per minute. Consultant Sunil is concerned by Ron’s low heart rate and refers him to the specialist cardiology team to investigate. Ron’s wife Dawn explains her fears of losing him “we are two halves, what happens if you lose half of your self?”
Nurse Emily talks about the importance of family for the patients in A&E, “working in A&E makes you appreciate your loved ones more; relatives act in all different ways some are very calm and strong for the patient and some take on the emotional side for the patient and break down but most of the time they stick together and stand by them.”