Fillers A memorable patient

The value of communication

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 10 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1026
  1. Yvonne Ou, senior medical officer in paediatrics
  1. Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong

    I expect she is back in Vietnam now. I often think about her and her family.

    She was a pleasant child, with limited Cantonese picked up from her many years spent in a detention camp in Hong Kong. She had had a relapse of her nephrotic syndrome and had stayed with us a while until diuresis occurred, as the camps were not suitable for someone receiving high dose corticosteroids. She also had a history of asthma, which was quiescent at the time.

    We got on well, despite the language barrier. I guess one doesn't need many words during play. I explained her condition to her softly spoken mother through an interpreter. I learnt …

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