Don’t forget the C’s; reflections on don’t the bubbles 19.

It is only my second conference I have attended in my short career. I must admit I felt quite emotional and intellectually drained after finishing three days of both evidence based and life lesson learning ( don’t forget the poetry!). My other posts were about the individual little things I had picked up. These are the broad lessons I want to carry with me for as long as I do this weird job.


Children get really sick rarely; therefore the important questions have to be answered by clinicians, hospitals and countries coming together to get that sweet high quality evidence. PERN, PREDICT and PERUKI have all produced some amazing research articles. We now need to include the rest of the world as highlighted by @global_EM and @PECCafrica. That fact that the whole thing was live streamed is a real testimony to the possibility of this.

At a local level, collaborating between adult and kid’s teams is crucial for our “in-between” adolescence patients who are the commonest group to attend our emergency departments (@russellviner) and our younger trauma patients who need both adult and paeds care (@annIelondonAA).

More fundamentally, connecting as people can really bring about change (especially if these people are superconnectors as discussed by @helenbevan). Outside of the talks, the time spent empathising and relating to colleges, especially those of us trying to negotiating the winding road of training/not being in training is invaluable. Meeting these enthusiastic people giving up their time to develop their passion is inspiring.

Be caring

@drmikefarquhar remains us to care for ourselves enough to get some sleep. @dralangrayson remains us that diagnosing sick kids early in the disease process is hard, so be kind to yourselves if we don’t get in right first time every time, but to care enough to do a through examination. @hann_gayle and amani ask us simply to care about more than just the wound, but about the child who received it (who is not just the “gang member.”)


Translating the knowledge base into practice is about good communication(and what conferences like DFTB are all about); it was good to hear about this from stuart daziel who had some solid evidence about how to do this. Hopefully, studies like this, and the FOAM philosophy can bring this 19 year gap between the evidence base and wide uptake shorter.

I find communicating with kids hard, especially those with learning disabilities, so great tips from @lizjl78 (and her patients) and I learnt my first makaton. The words we use matter; @lizstokoe enlightened me than speaking to patients is better than talking about best interests and actually providing options is vital. Continue to communicate when those in power do not want to listen requires some incredible bravery, @drkimholt encourages us to speak truth to power and whistle-blow against the odds when this is the right thing to do.

Be Curious

Hmm, why is this wheezer not getting better? @russultrasound and @cianmcdermott ask us to be curious enough to reach for the ultrasound probe and discover the rare case of myocarditis. @londonpemdoc ask to be curious enough to as why is a 14 year old is attending alone and with a designer handbag? Does she need help from safeguarding teams? @andrewtagg asks us to be curious about what that maverick college is up to and @ffolliet asked us simply to be curious. These three days certainly make me curious; I have a long way to go caring for little people but at least now I have a better idea of what I am aiming for.