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Episode 8

Meet the team

This powerful, award-winning documentary series follows doctors and their teams as they work to save the lives of the most critically ill emergency patients.  Filmed at Royal Stoke University Hospital, each programme witnesses urgent life-saving care as the staff treat patients with a wide variety of critical conditions including heart attacks, strokes, stabbings and fast-moving cancers.  With extraordinary access to NHS staff and the patients and families involved, the series follows their efforts to provide time critical, emergency care for those whose lives hang in the balance.  

When 52-year-old Helen is rushed into Royal Stoke emergency department after a head on collision with a bus, Trauma Team leader Paul Hancock fears the worst.  With a blown right pupil indicating a serious brain injury, an urgent scan reveals a devastating skull fracture, which could be fatal. 

Neurosurgeons act quickly to relieve the pressure on her brain, but when her partner arrives, Paul has to prepare him for the fact that Helen might not make it. 

Meanwhile 65-year-old HGV driver Michael was at work when he suddenly begins to display worrying symptoms of a stroke.  Tests reveal he has a severe lack of co-ordination on his right-hand side and Dr Janaka knows that if he doesn’t act fast, his patient could suffer permanent paralysis. The race is on to shift the blood clot causing the stroke to give Michael a fighting chance of making a full recovery.  

Across the hospital, 35-year-old Daria is preparing for emergency surgery to treat an aneurysm in her brain. It could rupture at any minute, potentially killing her in an instant.  One of the youngest patients Dr Nayak has ever treated with this condition, he needs to urgently insert a stent into her brain to block off the aneurysm.  But when the procedure doesn’t go to plan, Dr Nayak has to think on his feet to save the life of his young patient. 

Finally, 80-year-old Fred has fallen down the stairs at home and has a significant head injury. Trauma Team leader Richard Hall is not only concerned about Fred’s external injuries, but also crucially, why his patient fell in the first place. An ECG confirms his worst fears, Fred has suffered a heart attack and Richard knows that now his patient is now at risk of having a second, potentially fatal arrest. With his patient’s life in the balance, Richard has to work quickly to both treat Fred’s external injuries and the serious cardiac condition he has just uncovered. 


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