AggieBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7439.559 (Published 04 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:559
- Hyman Davies, retired general practitioner
- Prestwich, Manchester
I will call her Agatha Radcliffe, though that is not her real name. Nor was she my patient. I was on rota duty on a freezing, wintry Saturday night some time in the 1950s. The day had been long and arduous, and, at about 11 o'clock, having just got home from another visit, I received an urgent call to visit a Miss Radcliffe, who was having an asthma attack.
It didn't take long to get to her house. She was sitting up in bed, her head between her hands with her elbows resting on her knees, gasping. No stethoscope …