Posted by: medicblog999 | June 28, 2011

A moment frozen in time.

I looked down at his small body, thinking that this time, I would make a difference.

He was breathing 2 minutes ago.

He was at school earlier that same day.

Maybe its just respiratory arrest?

He had a pulse as we moved him from the front room where I found him lying on the settee, looking nothing like a young boy sleeping, but instead like a much younger version of the hundreds of patients that have either died in my presence or have been dead before I even had a chance to help them.

I placed him onto the stretcher, carrying him out of the house in my arms rather than placing him on a carry chair.

He was small for a teenager.

“Does he normally have any medical problems Mum?”


My partner puts the leads on his body whilst I give him a couple of breaths.

“Good rhythm!!”

“Does he have an output with that??”

We both check………

Mum is standing at the back door of the ambulance, a look of blissful ignorance on her face, certain that we will help her son.

I look down at him, then I turn my head to the side and quickly glance at mum.

Silently, I curse to myself

As I start compressions I try harder than I have ever tried before to block out the sounds of his mother screaming at the back door of the ambulance, and I know that in that one moment, I will never, ever forget that sound.


  1. Chills. Welcome back!

  2. Welcome back!!! Great to see you!

  3. MIssed you.  Welcome back.

  4. Welcome back.  Your silence has been so noticeable.  Welcome Back.

  5. Absolutely awesome post as always. You are an amazing writer. *hugs* 

  6. Tough job my friend. The primal screams of a mother send chills through my soul. I hope you are doing ok. Or as ok as one can be after that. As I have said before, your blog taught me, after a bad job, it’s ok to not be ok.

    You have an army of friends and supporters in your corner.

  7. well written.  

  8. II have experienced this myself. It is a sound of anguish I will never forget. Well said, my friend, well said.

  9. Oh Mark, that howl is the only one reverberating sometimes in our mind.

  10. One can never for get “that sound”. Nice piece, very glad you still see the blog as an outlet when you need it. We all miss you, but you know that.
    Be Well,

  11. Mark, welcome back, even if it’s just a one-shot thing.  You’ve been missed.  Hope all has been at least reasonably well for you and yours.

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