I have recently came across a program on BBC two that shows the reality of life in a hospital as well as the tough decisions that need to be made.
The first episode featured two patients one of which needed an operation to get rid of cancer that had formed in the oesophagus. His operation had already been cancelled due to the need for a intensive unit bed that is highly sourt after and like the rest of the hospital is almost always full to capacity. The patient had gone though chemotherapy to reduce the tumor and need to take it out, the longer that patient waited the harder the operation would become.
The second patient was one that was being brought the hospital by ambulance to st.marys due to the nature of the condition. This patients aporta had the potential to burst and it wasn’t ceratian that the patient would make it to the hospital alive.
With no intensive care beds available the episode shows how they have a constant pressure to move patients from intensive care to the wards to make space for new arrivals. The orinisazion of the flow of patients proving difficult at a time of great strain on the NHS. The hospital had the potential to move two patients down to the ward but was a not sure it all depended on the situation in the coming hours. This led to the conclusion that if the patient in the ambulance survived the journey then the cancer patients operation wouod need to be cancelled. If however the the ambulance patient died on route the cancer patient could then go ahead with the operation.
It was visibly clear that this was hard concept to take in both for the patient awaiting cancer treatment as well as the doctor performing on him. The patient felt a great deal of guilt due to the fact that someone dieing would be beneficial to his own needs. The doctors were left unable to do there work which left them with a long waiting time as well the knowing that the operating theatre was free and ready but just couldn’t do it. This can be seen as a wasting of resources which created frustration.
In the end the ambulance patient survived and the cancer patient was able to get the operation done the next day. But this situation clearly states the problems that are going on up and down the contry in our hospitals. There are simply not enough beds for the number of patients that need them, any new intensive care beds are costly and there needs to be space available for them. This means that there is no quick fix to the problem. The implications of this is that people are having their operations cancelled as well as someone needing to make the difficult decision of who should be treated on. This can then have phycological effcts on the people working there one doctor even said that orinaizing the place was proving just strenuous as actually saving lives. The long waiting times that surgeons have to endure before they can start the operation is sure to make the possibibily of mistakes more likey.
Our hospitals are under intense strain without action being done soon to help in the long term this problem will just escalate to the point where people will be put at risk of dieing unnessisarily. There is a need for more beds to occupy the need. There needs to be centers set up to help people recover at home or in annother building instead of taking up valuble bed spaces. Hospital are needing to discharge more and more patients but without proper support at home they will just end up back in the hospital again creating a viscous cycle. The warning signs are here the only way to solve these problems is through actions.
If anyone is interested in watching the program the ext episode is on at 9.00 on Wednesday night on BBC two. If you have anything ou wish to share feel free to comment.
Thanks for reading , George