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A 24-year-old junior doctor was unable to see after breaking his glasses at a very busy acute medical unit at a district general hospital. This resulted in significant deterioration in his optical function and affected daily junior doctor tasks such as coffee making, writing discharge scripts and taking bloods. Notably, he was unable to recognise his patients or his colleagues unless standing close up to them causing awkward communication and social situations. Also, his consultant had complained that his morning coffee had tasted suspiciously like hot chocolate, although this was impossible to confirm biochemically.
The doctor was seen at the estates department at the hospital, who delightedly assessed the doctor and his glasses. They were able to make a diagnosis of glassidium brokenosis and undertook an emergency repair using the most up-to-date ‘five-method’ guidelines.1 The doctor was discharged with his glasses fixed, and recommended to return for a follow-up with chocolates.
Unexpected events happen within the hospital wards which can disrupt clinical activities.
The estates department form a part of the multidisciplinary team, as do the cleaners, porters and catering staff.
Working together can help to solve unexpected problems. In this case, fixing a junior doctor's broken glasses ensured he could provide safe patient care.
To Peter, who fixed my glasses first and was admitted to hospital. We wish you a speedy recovery.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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