7 Dec, 09 | by John Offen
The registrar with a young medical student in tow wore an undecipherable expression on his face. “Are you looking after the patient in cubicle two,” he enquired. I acknowledged that I was. “Well I think you might have closed the curtain,” he snapped. I evidently looked confused. “Well she is dead,” he said bluntly. A rock landed in my stomach. My patient was dead and I hadn’t noticed. Worse still her daughter was sitting at the foot of the bed oblivious to the unexpected demise of her parent. I raced into the cubicle, my worst fears realised as I gazed at the half open, lifeless eyes, the ashen skin, the head tipped slightly back in an attitude of everlasting peace. I touched her hand wondering if the body had gone cold. As I did so she opened her eyes fully. “Could I have another blanket dear,” she said.