Personal Views

The danger of honest admission

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 19 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:195

That night I was working as a psychiatric registrar at a large, old style psychiatric hospital. It is sometimes a quiet job at night. The hospital has a duty doctor's on call flat, which is in fair repair. That night I decided to be public spirited and to wash the pile of dishes which seemed perpetually to fester in the kitchen sink. I searched for a scouring pad. In the course of my search I opened the bottom drawer to find a needle and syringe filled with a clear oily substance.

Not really a surprise. A depot neuroleptic injection which someone had presumably thought better of. Unplanned palmar depot injection, while it might have benefited some of my colleagues, would I thought be best avoided. I decided to put the unused depot into a sharps bin. Unfortunately none was provided. I put the sharp on top of the television to remind myself to take it to a ward sharps bin the next morning.

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