I rarely write a blog predominantly because I’m lazy, but often because I get snowed under and go onto the next task. I feel particularly motivated to write this blog because I spent the morning yesterday in Glasgow Royal Infirmary speaking to Consultants and Doctors in the Emergency Department.
I have had much to do with the ED at GRI over the years – ten year ago I went to speak to Dr’s Rudy Crawford, Alastair Ireland and a number of Registrars about how we could reduce violence. If you want to know about levels of violence – speak to someone in an Emergency Department, they’ve seen it all. At that time our Murder Rate was at its highest, and violence involving knifes was commonplace, GRI felt the full burden of our failure to prevent violence. Assaults on staff were commonplace. The waiting room was tense, full of young men waiting for their injured compatriots and planning their revenge on the assailants. They received on average three victims of serious knife crime a night; they’d done more Thoracotomies for stab wounds to the chest than any other hospital. For those readers who don’t know what a Thoracotomy is, it’s where a surgeon makes a large incision in the chest to gain access to the thoracic organs, most commonly the heart, lungs and major arteries. It’s a major procedure and ED Consultants were doing this relatively frequently to save those who had been stabbed in the chest – they saved many people, their skill was extraordinary.
This history makes my conversation yesterday morning, somewhat extraordinary. The conversation went something like this…
'We probably only see one or two stab wounds a week'
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