The Health Education England working across the West Midlands Compassion 2016 Prize Award was won by Dr Amelia Reynolds.
"This patients case was a particularly difficult yet heart warming story which touched a large number of people. Hence we were asked to discuss her case at our hospital Schwarz Round, to help reflect on the experience but also share our emotions. I found it incredibly rewarding to do so, and the process of sharing and reflecting helped me to move forward and learn from that experience. Hence it made sense to write those thoughts and emotions down, firstly so I can look back on them in the future when I feel comfortable to. But secondly to also share that I don't feel as a profession we share our emotions and concerns enough, that we try to maintain a hardened professional exterior for the sake of our persona, whilst sacrificing possibly our mental stability.
It is a rare opportunity to share both the positive and negative experiences you have had whilst caring for a patient and demonstrating compassion towards them. A chance to offload any thoughts and worries that you have which you may have felt uncomfortable to do so with the colleagues that you work with daily. I found the experience incredibly rewarding, not only to offload those burdens I carried, but also to receive feedback on my actions, but also that I wasn't the only one feeling guilty and upset by the patients loss. It helps to build bridges and develop a closer working relationship not only with the patient but also with your colleagues, so you know next time in a difficult situation you feel supported.
A reflection on the tragic case of a 30 yr old lady who presented with painless jaundice and evidence of a mass in the area of the caecum with extensive metastases. She was clearly even on day 1 of her admission incredibly unwell, with limited opportunity for a cure. She became quickly aware of this and wanted to go home to spend time with her family and her dogs. The consultant was keen to get a liver biopsy to enable identification of the primary tumour and the possibility of palliative chemotherapy. However the biopsy took a couple of days to organise, by which time she had continued to deteriorate significantly, becoming too encephalopathic and unwell for a safe discharge home. I had an enormous sense of guilt around this, as I felt that the biopsy was unnecessary, as she was so unwell that we were just putting her through invasive procedures to no avail. She was desperate to see her dogs, hence infection control rules were broken and the 2 dogs brought onto the ward. She became calm and content again, proving that palliative care is so much more than anticipatory medication, as the dogs provided her with so much joy that she did not notice her pain or agitation. She unfortunately passed away very quickly after this, yet her family were incredibly gracious in their loss. She demonstrated to me the importance of listening to your patients wishes with regards to their care, treating them as a person rather than as a medical condition, and doing what is best for them as a person rather than putting them through invasive procedures for only minimal gains. Also that we need to share our emotions better, to enable reflection and enhancement of our future care."
The Health Education England working across the West Midlands 2017 Prize Award One, was won jointly by Dr Joht Chandan and Dr Tom Thomas.
"We decided to enter the award as we wanted to make use of an opportunity to share what we thought may be a story that would be interesting and somewhat inspirational to other juniors interested in pursuing academia. As a junior we constantly face a battle in trying to lead research as often the role of a junior is to collect the data, do the analysis but rarely take the lead of a project. After speaking to several juniors this made research particularly unappealing as it led to a lack of autonomy. But we wanted this story to show other juniors that it is possible to see something interesting in clinical practice, formulate a hypothesis and take a project from start to finish. So entering the award for us was giving us the opportunity to show others that taking a lead in research is possible.
I would say good luck! It is likely that you have done something worthy of winning during your FY1 and you have nothing to lose by entering!
During an Acute Medicine clerking shift we came across a patient with ITP who was admitted with Chest Pain and subsequently treated for an NSTEMI with appropriate ACS treatment. Following seeing this patient me and Tom were interested in whether a low platelet count was associated with atherosclerosis or thrombus formation. After speaking to seniors the answer to this question was unclear, and the literature did not provide a sufficient answer. Therefore we wanted to explore it further. In order to do so we conducted a population-based retrospective, open cohort study using primary care data (THIN database). We isolated 6,591 ITP patients and matched them to 24,275 matched controls and followed them forward to assess their cardiovascular risk. We found that this group had an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Adjusted IRR 1.38; CI 95% 1.23-1.55). This was further exacerbated in the ITP population who had undergone splenectomy. Therefore implying further care should be considered in managing the CVD risk factors for ITP patients."
Page Updated on: 19 July 2018