Personal Views

Dislocations in the European Union

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 09 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:375
  1. Anne Savage, retired general practitioner
  1. London

    On 20 September 1996 my newly inserted right hip dislocated. After the longest hour of my life my husband returned and called the London ambulance service. The ambulancemen came immediately, carrying a container of nitrous oxide and oxygen, and I puffed away, interested that the spasm was relieved almost before the analgesia took effect. With great care they got me into a chair, round several corners, and into the ambulance. A short ride and I was in the accident and emergency department of the local hospital.

    I was wheeled into a cubicle and there I lay. Eventually, a nurse turned up and invited me to take my clothes off. “I can't,” I pleaded, “not without something for the pain.” Another delay, and then a doctor came and asked me what I had been given after the operation. I told her pethidine and was given the modest dose of 75 mg intramuscularly, where it took an unconscionable time to act. I had an x ray examination, the senior registrar arrived, followed by the anaesthetist.

    By 10 30 pm everything was ready. The theatre was free, the recovery room was empty, but we all …

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