Challenge of the Week: Life and Death

So this week the biggest challenge was being confronted with death. Sounds strange, but I hadn’t expected it that morning, so I was hit hard.
Of course I’ve seen death before in medical school- the cadavers we use for dissection, old patients on the ward who pass away quietly in their sleep and death certification. This however was different as it was unexpected- someone younger who yesterday was walking around fine, then suddenly today they have gone. It wasn’t predicted or even suspected.
Other than the suddenness of it all, I was also struck by the sadness as the team slowly realised they had done all they possibly could but that it simply wasn’t enough.
Later in the week I watched the post-mortem of the patient (every unexpected or unexplained death has to be investigated by the coroner). It was very humbling to reflect on the fragility of life and realise how much I take the air I breath, the beating of my heart and the perfusion of my brain forgranted.

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