SE/B06/038: red or brown meat?
Woman on bed
Back to St Emlyn's Reception

It is Christmas day and yo uare fed up to be working in the department. There is not much happening, and the most exciting thing you have seen so far is an elderly lady with a piece of turkey in her gullet.

However, you are called to the Resusc Room for a, "Standby": the paramedics are bringing in a woman with a knife stuck in her neck. You methodically prepare all your airway kit and 10 minutes later they walk her into the Resusc Room.

She is 42 years old and there is indeed a knife in her neck: a kitchen knife, up to the hilt in the supra-sternal notch. She says that she and her husband have been having problems, but they thought these would settle down over Christmas dinner. Sadly an argument arose over whether the gravy should be poured over the potatoes, or whether it should be poured next to them.

Things got out of hand and he picked up the carving knife and stabbed her in the chest.

To everyone's surprise, most notably her own, she did not die and her husband (then in remorse) phoned for an ambulance.

She remains cardiovascularly stable throughout, walks into resus and agrees then to sit on a trolley. She has had a few "sherries" but is GCS 15 and co-operative.