Monday 24th December 1990   Afternoon coffee and debrief 16:50

“Good afternoon, everybody. I am very pleased to report that this week has not been as busy. It looks as if the 1990 influenza epidemic may be waning.” Mrs Andrea Jones smiled and sat down.
“It’s been rather short,” my Dad said. “Perhaps there will be another wave.”
“Don’t say that, Desmond. I remain optimistic that we are over the worst. We should all be able to enjoy the bank holidays.”
“I don’t know. I’ve got this feeling . . . “
“Dr Rothman has been very helpful.” Andrea interrupted. “He has done double-booked surgeries every day. He has been signing prescriptions left, right and centre.  On Wednesday, he made everyone in reception a cup of tea.” She gave my Dad a pointed look as she said this. He didn’t notice and took another bite of his mince pie.
“Mary Lomax has been as busy as a bee. She has managed to vaccinate 200 patients this week. She is so efficient!”
All the staff except Harriet looked impressed.
“Would you like to give us an update on our admissions, Lois?”
“Miss Sandiford has come home. She’s quite well. Dennis and I went to see her on Wednesday. I am very pleased to see that Adam Watson has also been discharged. He seems much better. You’ve seen him, Harriet?”
“Yes, he came for his review. He has promised to take his asthma more seriously in future. He agreed to have a flu jab.”
“I am not sure how useful it is to give someone the flu jab after they have had the flu, Harriet.” My Dad raised his eyebrows.
“I wanted to start him off on the right foot, Desmond. The flu vaccine covers 3 strains of flu. Because there are similarities between the various strains of influenza, they do say that patients who have the vaccine every year build up their general immunity to the illness.”
“You should know that, Desmond.” Andrea raised her eyebrows.
“I have sent in another 6 patients,” Dr Lewis continued, “of these, 4 had influenza and bronchopneumonia and are doing well. However, 2 patients are extremely ill. Idris Jones has developed acute respiratory distress syndrome. This is a complication of a number of conditions including influenza where the virus causes a severe inflammatory reaction in the lungs. It is difficult to treat. The consultants in the Intensive Care Unit are not sure if Idris will survive. The other patient is poor little Rosie Rampling who I sent in on Tuesday. She did have the flu but I couldn’t work out why she looked so ill. They have discovered that she’s got leukaemia. That’s why the flu affected her so badly. They are planning to transfer her to Liverpool for treatment early next week.”
“That’s awful! The poor little girl,” said Penny Parry. All the staff looked shocked.
“These days, the treatment for leukaemia in children is very effective.” Dr Lewis tried to be as reasurring as she could.
“She’s only 4 years old. Lois. What a Christmas she’s going to have!”
Everyone was so upset that Andrea decided to abandon the rest of the meeting.

Last weekly practice influenza debriefing.