Looking back …BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7237.812 (Published 18 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:812
It was an emergency—not life threatening, but something needed to be done. All the monitoring equipment was attached, and, with words like, “Don't worry, everything will be fine,” we began. But everything was not fine, and it got worse, and after half an hour my patient was dead. At my hands.
It was three months before I spent a day and did not think about the events
The best advice I was given was to write down as much as I could remember
Immediately after the event I was a wreck. I vaguely remember talking to the family; I don't know if I was much use to them. The best advice I was given was to write down as much as I could remember as soon as I could. Doing this made me realise how much was just a blur. I remembered impressions, images, emotions much more than a cool sequence of clinical events.
That night I got drunk. It was the only way I could sleep. A sensitive colleague came …