My first time on call

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 19 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:146
  1. Olaoluwatomi Lamikanra, medical officer, Baptist Medical Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
  1. t_lami{at}

    It was my first time on call, and I was to cover the emergency room from 4 pm until 8 am the next morning. The early part of my shift was uneventful, and I successfully cleared the minor cases of malaria, colds, and catarrhs. My great fear had long been of being accosted by a patient and not knowing what to do, so that night I retired to bed with hopes and prayers for a sweet sleep, dreaming of nothing related to medicine.

    My ordeal started at about 11 pm. The …

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