Avoiding a stab in the darkBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7436.392 (Published 12 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:392
- Binu V John, consultant in internal medicine
- Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
He rushed in at 3 am. I could hear his distressed voice from my duty doctor's room adjoining the casualty department. I should have known that he would come that night. There had been no electricity since 10 pm, and the hospital generator could be heard humming in the background. He was in his mid-70s and, with longstanding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was a regular patient in our 70 bed hospital (where I was doing my first job as a junior doctor). After he had got himself a nebuliser, his emergency visits were much less frequent and were generally restricted to times like this, when the lack of electricity meant that his home nebuliser wouldn't work.
As he was wheeled …