Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Sometimes the stupidity of things I hear on a day to day basis makes me want to slam my head into the desk repeatedly, but sometimes, like in this case, it just really tickles me pink.

We had a phonecall from one of the a&e registrars...

Would we like to accept a young child who had taken an accidental overdose of his mothers sleeping tablets? On face value this seems reasonable enough. It's policy however that a&e properly clerk and examine a child before referring, so I asked for a little more information...

Obviously I wanted to know what the child had taken and how much.

I'm glad I asked before accepting the patient.

I was told they had eaten 10 "herbasnooze" (not the real name) tablets. Not really knowing what the reg was talking about I asked for a bit more info. He read the label out to me "100% natural homeopathic sleeping tablets".

I giggled.

Then I worried for a moment, although it says homeopathic who knows what was in the tablets. I asked the reg if he'd talked to toxbase. He had. They said every ingredient was completely harmless.

I was puzzled.

If toxbase have said that all the ingredients are harmless why was I being asked to accept this patient for observation? I asked the reg as much because we have a really busy ward.

His reply?

"Well I know they are homeopathic and toxbase weren't worried, but Mum said they made her really sleepy last night."

I almost wanted to say "...and some people feel homeopathic medicines cure cancer, but you don't see us giving them to our leukaemia children."

In fact he was so adament that the child should be observed, lest they get drowsy and lose their airway that I ended up having to get him to talk to my reg who honestly thought for the first 10 minutes that they were trying to wind her up.

I think its lovely that he cared so much about the patients, but honestly, homeopathic overdoses?

Part of me still just thinks a&e were bored and having a giggle.

Dr Sunshine xXx


  1. Just thought I'd say that I really love your blog - having recently made the decision to leave journalism and (hopefully) join a medicine GEP, I found your first blog during my research, and read all the way through to this one!

    Your passion for what you do really shines through your writing, even if you're talking about a tough day or rude colleague. Despite all the doubts and angst about my big decision, reading your blog never fails to remind me why I want to be a doctor.

  2. Awwww! Thanks Elle... that really made me smile :) Good luck in applying to medicine!