Sunday, 23 December 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – When Hope Is The Casualty


"Tensions once again rise between
Tom and Dominic as they argue 
over the treatment of a baby 
with severe hypothermia."

Should we place a sign above every hospital entrance hall:
"Give up all hope all ye who enter here."
Casualty is a long-running BBC hospital drama. This episode has particular relevance.

Casualty: I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus

 Episode 16 - Season 27

Two children are left inside the car while their parents stand and argue outside. They are both seated in the back. 

Callum leans forward into the front and inadvertently releases the hand brake. The car begins to roll forward. The parents run after the car but fail to stop its progress and it rolls into the freezing lake. The children, Mark and Callum, are trapped inside. 

The dad dives down, frees Callum and brings him to the surface. He goes back down for the baby, Mark. Is all lost? The baby does not revive.

All the way back to casualty, the paramedics frantically apply CPR.

Back at the ED, the team attempt to resuscitate baby Mark but eventually new locum Dominic decides they can do no more.

Tom disagrees and pushes on. Dylan is unsure but steps in to help Tom.

Dominic argues."This is cruel," he protests. "You're giving the parents false hope."

"This is futile..."

Tom presses on. He will not give up on his charge. Together, he and Dylan bring Mark back.Death will not claim baby Mark today.

Afterwards, Dominic excuses his reluctance to proceed. "In only one case in ten will the baby survive this rigour," he argues. 

This story is fictional. But a point is made. Should we sacrifice the hopes of the one because the nine have no hope?

You don't give up till it's up.

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