As I mentioned in previous blogs I loved the buzz that A&E brought. I worked with the “On Call” duty Doctor. This was a scheme whereby if you called your surgery out of hours you would be put through to a Doctor for advice or asked to come along to see him at the Local Treatment Centre – which was held in the local A&E Department.
Working with the Doctor we really only seen minor illnesses – some we did refer on to
the hospital if someone needed admitting or seeing a specialist but mainly they were just routine coughs and colds. But working in the A&E reception area I witnessed some of the more critical cases that came in. One that comes to mind and I still find very upsetting when I think about it………….
It was a Saturday night around 10 pm – I sat in front of a window in the A&E Reception office, my window faced the emergency doors that the ambulances arrived with the patients. The critical cases were brought straight into the resuscitation area and bypassed the A&E waiting room.
The ambulance pulled up I knew straight away that it was urgent as they had their blue lights on and came in at quite a speed.
Before the ambulance came to a stop the back doors opened and a young man got out
screaming and shouting running around like a person possessed. I wondered what on earth was happening – I wondered if the man was possibly drunk – how wrong was I.
Just behind this man one of the paramedics jumped out of the ambulance and in his
arms was a baby – he dashed in through the doors. I later found out she was 10 months old. She was wearing purple and pink pyjamas. I can still see her little lifeless body in the arms of the paramedic. He rushed her into the resuscitation area.
I soon found out that the man – her daddy – was looking after his daughter while his
wife was at work – she only worked a Saturday evening. He went upstairs to check on her and found her dead in her cot. The ambulance crew arrived and worked on her and rushed her into the hospital.
The team of dedicated doctors and nurses worked on the little one for over 30 minutes, sadly they couldn’t save her.
But the thought that stays with me was looking into the ambulance some 10 minutes later
to see the paramedic holding a blanket sobbing his heart out. That did reduce me to tears too and seeing the effect that it had on this paramedics and not only him but the whole department. Everyone was just devastated. That night made me realise how much these daily occurrences affect the people who work in the department.
I arrived for work the following morning – the department was still very subdued from
the events the night before. We were told at reception that the parents of the baby would be coming in that morning to see their baby – we were told to notify one of the senior Managers on their arrival.
The parents arrived around 11.00 – you could see the pain on their faces – it was just awful. They were met by the Manager and took away – we never seen them again.
Then one of the nurses came out into reception. In a file she had a hand print and
footprint of the baby – the parents would be told that it was available for them if they wanted it – if they declined it would be kept for years – in the event that they changed their minds at a later date and wanted the precious prints of their beautiful little angel.
One thing I did learn very quickly working at A&E you never knew what was ahead
when you went in through the doors – you didn’t know what the day ahead was
going to bring.