Filler A memorable patient

The guiding hand

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 11 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1163
  1. CL Davidson, retired consultant physician
  1. Bolton Abbey

    “What about his little arm, then?” It was some months since I had last seen the child, now seemingly healthy and normal after the grave illness which he had suffered earlier in the year. But his mother, far from expressing the happy thankfulness which I had expected, had something else to say. She pulled up a sleeve, and there at the bend of the elbow was a small scar, healing nicely but still a blemish in that clear infant skin. I looked at it tenderly. “I think it will gradually clear away as he gets older,” I said.

    It had been a grim 24 hours. Barely conscious on admission, the baby had been vaccinated …

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