Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Quiet Darkness

I find myself trapped, so to speak, at home. I am due to be working nights, but have been released from my burden. Surprisingly, I am not happy about this.

Imagine the following,if you will; a young man is brought to your ED, having been discovered unconscious, barely breathing. It is believed he has taken a drug overdose; he is suspected of having certain other medical problems.

On his arrival, he is awake, but raving. He seems incapable of conversation, sensible or otherwise. He is having to be restrained by security staff.

A decision has to be made. He clearly doesn't want to be here, and is making very clear efforts to resist assessment in the ED. Does one say 'fair enough', and let him go, free to wander where he pleases? What if hurts himself? Interferes with other patients? What if something else is wrong with him? If he is on drugs, are they wearing off?

What if his medical condition is one that might inflict itself on you?

So, if he continues to rage, but is only going to hurt himself, perhaps he should be left to get on with it, and the pieces picked up afterward?

Maybe; there will always be at least two ways to handle a situation. The way you did, and a better way, viewed from the future.

Another blogger wrote about the treatment of 'bad' people. 'Bad' is clearly objective, and I've always believed we are not paid to make moral judgements about people. And we shouldn't.

When do we put our own safety above that of our patients? What price the duty of care?

Clearly the above is all entirely hypothetical, and on an entirely unrelated note, I have to take some time off work, and, coincidentally, some fairly unpleasant drugs.


Sadra-May said...

Ah mate, are you on PEP?

People can be real wankers.


fallenkshatriya said...

awww man...I'm really sorry.

anji said...

Hope things work out, whatever they are... take care!