A lesson learnt: Always listen to the patient

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 28 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:689
  1. William D Carroll
  1. senior house officer in paediatrics, Northampton

    It was almost 3 00 pm and I was at home trying hard to sleep off the effects of a set of nights on call as a senior house officer in paediatrics when I was awoken by my worried wife and presented with our 4 year old child, Steven. Sleepily, I took a quick bedside history. My wife and two sons had been to the fairground in the morning. Steven had been apparently well, but had been complaining of pain “in his willy” since lunchtime, and when she eventually examined him she was alarmed to find that his scrotum was massively swollen.

    From my bed and with only a halfhearted glance at my son, I decided that swollen testicles merited a turf to the surgeons. Two telephone calls later they were on the way to the casualty department to see a …

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