Intended for healthcare professionals

Lessons From Everywhere

Three incidents

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1615
  1. Sundaram V Ramanan, associate professor of clinical medicine (
  1. University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Hartford, CT 06105, USA
  1. Correspondence to: S Ramanan, St Francis Hospital and Medical Center, 1000 Asylum Avenue, Suite 1002, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

It's a funny thing how one remembers seemingly minor incidents many years after their occurrence, often relating them to events of a similar type. This, I suppose, is what makes up the fabric of life. These stories took place about ten years apart—yet they were simply new chapters in a continuing saga.

Something needing to be done

As I was walking down the corridor one day with my chief, we came upon a pool of brownish mucoid liquid on the floor, perhaps vomitus, incontinent stool, or some other body fluid. We paused for a moment, and Jack said, “Excuse me, I won't be long.” He went to the men's room and returned with a handful of paper towels. With these he mopped up the offending liquid and looked at the floor. Not satisfied, he came back with another handful of towels soaked in water. …

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