The creative GP...protecting a broken arm

Last Summer I was skulking around at a child’s birthday party, under the vague guise of supervising several dozen would-be gymnasts while trying to keep a low profile.

It was a balmy afternoon and several parents, like me, were making polite conversation on the periphery of the group while helping themselves to the nibbles and drinks. Suddenly a commotion erupted and a loud wailing emanated from within a huddle of children.

A mother emerged with an inconsolable child who was cradling her left arm gingerly as she made her way towards me. ‘You’re a doctor, aren’t you?’ she asked worriedly. ‘Lucy’s just fallen off the trampoline and I think she might have broken her arm.’ Sure enough movement of the appendage in question provoked intense pain and it was red, hot and swollen.

Suddenly I had a brainwave and, while another mother was despatched in search of some Calpol, I reached over to the buffet table and removed the flexible plastic wine cooler from a bottle of white. I slid it on to the injured forearm and it was a perfect fit, providing almost instant relief in the form of a stable, padded, comfortable sleeve. The child was then packed off to the nearest A&E department for an X-ray.

Apparently the casualty officer was rather impressed with this new piece of sports equipment and asked where buy one.

‘We got this one from the off-licence,’ the mother replied and gently rotated the padded sleeve to reveal the words ‘Sauvignon blanc’ along the side.

Dr Fiona Gilroy is a GP in Wiltshire

Please email your tales of ingenuity to GPlife@haymarket.com

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