Filler Christmas 2013: Research

Die another day

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 12 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6973
  1. Stuart Carter, rheumatology academic clinical fellow specialist trainee year 41,
  2. Fiona Fawthrop, rheumatology consultant2
  1. 1Rheumatology Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK
  2. 2Rheumatology Department, Rotherham Hospital, Rotherham, UK
  1. Correspondence to: S Carter stuartjcarter{at}

One Tuesday in April we were confronted by a very upset patient on our rheumatology ward round. He was happy with his treatment and reported that he had received exemplary care from the hospital staff. However, the ward equipment was not supportive of our multidisciplinary effort. The patient declared “the clock is telling me to die.” Turning to the wall we confirmed that the clock indeed said “DIE” (figure). We discovered that the radio controlled clock had reverted to German and was displaying an abbreviation of “Dienstag” (Tuesday). We quickly rectified this by pressing several buttons to show the English abbreviation “TUE.” Fortunately, it was not the patient’s time to die after all.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6973


  • Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: None.

  • Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.