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Showing posts from October, 2015

Do Not Resuscitate

The day you meet me in the emergency department with your sick parent is probably one of the worst days of your life.   
'My name is Ash and I'm the medical registrar on duty. I'll be your mum's doctor tonight. Mum is very sick. Please sit down so we can talk about what's happening.'
This is usually how I meet people. It's 9pm in our chaotic emergency department and you've brought mum in after she had a turn. The ED doctor has done some tests and has called me to admit her to the medical ward.
Your mum is 89 and getting progressively more frail. She has her share of medical conditions and has a long list of tablets. Her memory is starting to fail her. She might live alone, or with you, or in a nursing facility. Those details don't matter as much. She's your mum and she looks so sick. You're terrified you're about to lose her.
You tell me the story and I add those pieces of the puzzle to the ED doctor's handover and the blood results I…