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South African Medical Journal

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Noodgevalle in die Mediese Praktyk

ADP van den Berg

Abstract


Emergencies in general practice and the role and approach of the general practitioner and casualty officer: this clinical subject, with its moral and ethical facets, was the theme for a presidential address. At the level of the first doctor-patient contact, namely the general practitioner or casualty officer, there exist shortcomings in knowledge, motivation and approach. The concept of an 'emergency case' is defined. Approaches to classification are proposed. The role of the doctor, and demands related to the management of emergencies are discussed. The right approach, the necessary knowledge, preparedness, and planning in advance, are required to improve standards. Hypothetical emergencies are quoted to illustrate the challenges, the dangers of negligence, and the need for prompt action. To apply these ideas in practice, written summaries of 'plans of action' must be kept in compact, easily available format. Goals for the future are improvement of individual standards, exchange of knowledge, team work, and utilization of available emergency services.

S. Afr. Med. J., 47, 104 (1973)



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