Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers A memorable patient

A question of confidence

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 22 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:674
  1. Trevor Stammers, general practitioner
  1. London

    She took so long in answering the door and was so breathless when she did so, that I immediately thought that Agnes should be in hospital. A brief chat and examination in her cramped sitting room confirmed that she was in severe left ventricular failure, which had been worsening for nearly a week. I had never met her before, and she was obviously distressed that my partner, who usually sees her, could not come.

    “I think we should send for an ambulance to get you into hospital for a few days,” I ventured.

    Her face froze with fear: “Oh, no. Hospitals are such awful places—noisy, dirty, and, of course, you read about so many mistakes being made and old …

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