Filler A memorable patient

”Let's wait and see”

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7310.440 (Published 25 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:440
  1. Christopher Sharpe, specialist registrar in anaesthetics
  1. West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds

    It happened on a Saturday morning. I was on call for the intensive care unit when I received the referral of a potential admission. The patient was an elderly man with an acute exacerbation of his chronic obstructive airways disease.

    On my arrival on the medical ward, I immediately saw that he was in extremis. Very little information was available to provide the basis for an informed decision as to his suitability for intensive care admission and ventilatory support. The only option was to admit him to the intensive care unit.

    After …

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