Intended for healthcare professionals


Sign of the cross

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 17 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4532
  1. Elizabeth Ingall, GP specialist trainee year 1, Bristol
  1. lizzieingall{at}

    There we stood in room 17 of the neurosurgical ward—ENT specialist registrar poised with tracheal dilator, ENT senior house officer with head light, and staff nurse armed with suction—surrounding a teenage patient with cerebral palsy on the bed for routine change of his long term tracheostomy tube. Suddenly the patient’s eyes began to roll, and his limbs began to jerk. Nurses were called for, and the ENT team started looking edgy in that “please someone else lead …

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