Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers My most unfortunate mistake

Always double check

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 16 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1510
  1. Lloyd Bradley, senior house officer in medicine
  1. London

    The staff in the accident and emergency department had asked for a medical opinion on the first patient of the evening. Recently arrived from west Africa, the unfortunate young man was struggling to describe his numerous symptoms to his family in French, who were then translating his problems into English. I knew that this was not going to be straightforward.

    Raised voices and increasingly frustrated gestures between the patient and his bewildered uncle and mother indicated that there were other issues at stake besides his fever, lethargy, and joint pains. After exhaustive questioning, I thought that …

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