Tangled Up In Blue

"Frankie, radio The Royal please. Ask them to have both theatres prepared, and have Mr Rose, Gordon and Jeff on standby."

The ambulance continued at speed through the streets, whilst Doctor Weatherill, in the back split her attention between the two casualties. Drips were set up, pressure applied, bandages secured, pulse and respiration monitored and recorded, reflexes checked. So engrossed was she in her patients that Jill's first realisation that they had arrived at The Royal was Frankie slamming the driver's door shut. Moments later, the two double doors of the ambulance were opened, and she stepped out to her welcoming committee of Ken, Alun, Gordon and Meryl, the day's casualty nurse.

The stretches were carried carefully from the vehicle and placed onto awaiting gurneys. Immediately, they were rolled through the swinging red double doors and into the mass of corridors within the stoic building. Gordon placed his hand briefly on Jill's elbow, a tiny expression of solidarity, and also as a means of leading her through the doors before him.

"Car accident." She called as she ran alongside the trollies. "One male with haemathorax on left side, and flail chest on right side – Mr Rose can take that one. The other male has a dislocated shoulder and internal bleeding; probable ruptured spleen. I'll take him."

The activities within casualty progressed with the same speed and efficiency as had everything else. The patients were treated, then taken away to prepare for theatre. The staff went their respective ways; Jeff, Mr Rose, Alun and Nurse Beaumont to the larger theatre, and Jill, Gordon and Nurse Hopkirk to the smaller theatre. Each member of staff then changed and scrubbed up. The surgeons emerged last to an anaesthetised patient, the anaesthetist at his head, and a nurse standing by the instrument tray.

"Let's begin then." Jill said, smiling beneath her mask. Though no one could see her mouth, they could see the encouragement in her eyes.

Meanwhile, in the other theatre, Mr Rose called jovially, "Right, into battle troops!"