An awful lot can happen in a 24-hour period and at St George’s Hospital in South London, Channel 4’s documentary, 24 Hours in A&E, offers a moving insight into just how life changing those few hours can be for patients and their families.
This episode emphasises the importance of the care and support that only your family can provide, described by Dr Will as being ‘almost as important as the medicine we supply’.
64 year old Mohammed has been knocked over by a pizza delivery motorbike; Will is concerned that he may have fractured his pelvis – a fracture that may seriously affect his mobility and if it hits a major artery, could even be life threatening. At Mohammed’s side to offer comfort is his son Tom, he reflects ‘When you are younger you think your dad is superhuman. When this happens, you realise he isn’t invincible’.
John also arrives at St George’s with his wife and daughter, at 90 he has been sent into A&E after his GP detected an abnormally low heart rate. Having been married to his ife Iris for 65 years, she now has dementia and it’s been hard of John watching the women he loves change with the condition. ‘It’s sad. But I mustn’t be greedy. We’ve had a good life together’ says John.
We also meet Clementina, an 8-year old girl who has injured her knee falling off her scooter. With a dream of becoming a midwife when she’s older, she’s fascinated by medicine. With her mother having been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, her parents decided to be honest with her and Clementina is coping well, asking lots of questions about her mother’s condition.
24 Hours in A&E, Tuesday, 9pm – Channel 4