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The World Cup…An Alternative Version

June 13, 2010

Yesterday, England played its first match against the USA. “Come on, England!”  was to be heard everywhere. As I was driving to work, the streets were awash with the St George’s flag of white and red. I hoped it would mean a quiet evening in A&E, as the world would be at home watching the football.

At work, when the footy started, every male in the place started getting twitchy and the scores were being announced every time a goal was scored. I worked in the observation ward in A&E, where we keep patients who cannot be immediately discharged home, e.g. waiting for blood results.

I had a gentlemen who came in initially with chest pain, but had now resolved. Unfortunately, he could not go out to the waiting room to watch the football there on the TV until all blood results were clear. SO we tried to improvise. The hospital’s internet service would not allow us to play BBC iPlayer. The computer did not have speakers, so we could not play internet radio either. So, we compromised by telling him that we would announce the score every five minutes.

The evening was quiet until 9pm, when it was over and the match was a draw.

Unsurprisingly, the masses flooded in to A&E soon after, with numerous drunken assaults on each other, head injuries and lacerations that either needed to be sutured or glued. The whole of A&E was looking like a war zone. As I entered Minors, I saw a man with blood pouring out from a wound on his face. We had to transfer him to Majors with a trail of blood behind him.

I treated a man who was drinking alcohol at a party and somehow had a bottle of beer smashed over his head. I glued the small laceration on his forehead and applied steristrips. To my disbelief, he turned round, complaining that he could not go out like this, he had a major function tomorrow and he was looking awful and could I not suture it? (!!!)


He was fortunate the cut wasn’t deep.

All I can say during this time, is that I will be a dab hand at suturing and gluing lacerations until the World Cup is over.

Suture kit, here I come!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2010 3:45 pm

    Ah, the glories of being English! (Namely: no traffic during an England match)

    There was this really funny report on the news of British and American servicemen in Afghanistan: Brits obviously hotblooded and loud, and the Americans…well, they didn’t look much like they knew what was happening, except that their country was involved, and they weren’t winning.

    As Bill Shankly said, ‘if you’re not sure what to do with the ball, just pop it in the net and we’ll discuss your options afterwards.’

    And then it was a draw anyway, sigh.

  2. Kaimalino permalink
    June 14, 2010 4:15 am

    So these fans were just bleeding on their sofas until the match finished and they could get on with mundane things, such as seeking treatment at the ER? It makes me wonder if there have been any studies about distraction as a pain reduction technique–using football instead of arbitrary, contrived breathing patterns.

  3. Levantine permalink
    June 14, 2010 11:02 pm

    We need to formulate a system of relating incidence of injury/wound/laceration/etc to the final score. And then standardise it so that it could apply on an international scale, in any lab (or pitch). Bit like an INR, but with a lot more balls and kicking (and smashing, vomiting, complaining, etc)…

    He should have been grateful that the hospital is so scar-conscious. Silly man. What’s this ‘ere scar doing on my head? How dare it interfere with my hooliganism and coming functions! I’m entitled to aesthetic appeal no matter what I do with broken bottles and the stuff that was in them!

    My apologies to all those to whom this comment may make little to no sense whatsoever…

    I’m almost looking forward to an on-call after the next England match. The clerking should be interesting… Presenting complaint: lame football score. History of presenting complaint: recurrent bouts of losing out on penalty shoot-outs. Post-stress traumatic disorder secondary to chronic football voyeurism associated with delusions of grandeur. Psychotherapy-resistant. I’d write a separate post about it, but I fear it might only be of interest to the medically-inclined…


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