We could see clouds in front of us, and I remember thinking “Are they water vapour clouds, or are they volcanic ash? Volcanic ash and air-intakes in helicopters don’t go very well…” Continue reading Out of the volcano — Dr John Bonning
Two events in the past twelve months have granted me greater insight into life and death.
It has been a year of reflection, a year to reflect on life and death. Continue reading Mooki and Ben — Dr Steve Doherty
The days were hot. Bushfires raged. Ruby’s neighbours had chosen to escape the heat and head for the coast. Ruby didn’t know or didn’t tell. She was determined to be in her own home.
She was found by a neighbour – on the floor, next to the airconditioning unit. Continue reading Ruby – Dr Simon Judkins
It was one of those late summer days that England does really well, even if the other 350-odd days of the year the weather is a bit more, well, wet. An absolutely pure blue sky, late afternoon warm sunshine and everyone feeling lazy at the end of a long weekend. This was in the mid-80s. I was starting my second year as a medical student, … Continue reading Training day – Associate Professor Paul Middleton
Our job as emergency medicine specialists requires a certain mental toughness. We spend years learning the ropes, understanding the incredible complexity of the human body and its extraordinary ability to recover from harm if given the right treatment. Trauma – when someone suffers significant physical injury, often due to a violent event of some kind – can be challenging. People can arrive at the emergency … Continue reading Over a dozen times – Dr Stephen Gourley
I chose a career in emergency medicine because it was the only specialty I could imagine in my 20s that would interest and challenge me when I was 50 and beyond. I’m 50 now and in most ways I was right. I have the best job in the world and am still excited coming into work. I’m the Director of Emergency Medicine at the Royal … Continue reading One crash — five families – Dr Didier Palmer
Over more than thirty years of practice, I’ve encountered death in its many forms. I’ve had to tell distraught parents that their child won’t make it. I’ve had to speak to wives as they become widows, children as they let go of parents, and, just occasionally, be the only company for the dying as they lose the link with life. Over this time, I’ve created … Continue reading A time to die – Dr Sue Ieraci
Snakebites are a constant threat to life. PNG has some of the highest rates of envenomation in the world, which reflects that the majority of the population live in rural areas. Despite improvements in the early treatment of snakebite, delivering first aid training to remote regions is a major challenge. The drugs we’ve given Alois should obviate the need for a breathing tube to be … Continue reading So close, yet so far – Dr Rob Mitchell
We were never taught how to do this part. It’s only through years of trial and error that you figure out the best way of breaking bad news – hopefully without too much of the error. Sometimes you know you do it well, and others, well… One thing is certain, this long walk and the interaction at the end is a test of compassion. It’s … Continue reading Breaking bad news – Dr Michelle Johnston
Anxious, scared, disbelieving. Despairing and broken. I don’t really know what words to use; all of them. You can see the physical transformation as the parents enter the room, energy drained. They are supporting each other, each stopping the other from collapsing. For our patient’s family, this is not happening, this is surreal, this is just a terrible nightmare. This is not meant to happen … Continue reading I don’t remember anything at all – Dr Joe-Anthony Rotella