Monday, October 07, 2013

Vignettes, An Introduction?

I work in the Emergency Department. It used to be called Casualty, but, of course, very little of what comes through the doors has anything to do with significant trauma. Having said that, I work in Wales, but I trained in South Africa and the same is not true of that sunny, gorgeous land.

Emergencies in South Africa very rarely involve strokes or heart attacks or sudden incapacitating palpitations. They certainly do not involve panic attacks. Or major depressive episodes with suicidal ideation. I am not entirely convinced that either of the last two constitute emergencies. I may just be biased especially considering that there are about 8.45 deaths per 100000 people per year in the UK due to suicide and depressed people present to hospital very frequently thinking about suicide but not actively planning it.

I am not insensitive. You will probably disagree. I do think that statistics are important in resource allocation. Utilities. QALYs. Numbers.

This is not, however, intended to be about numbers; or at least not to any significant extent. This is intended to be a series of vignettes.

I have been encouraged to write. And activity is generally inconducive to depression, especially brief reactive episodes.

So, this is a beginning. It is telling that it begins with depression, but circumstances being what they are, it is understandable.

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