Christmas 2012 style: Away in a Resus Trolley, No Crib for a Bed

It’s that time of year again, when we proclaim peace and goodwill to all, light up our homes with crazy Christmas lights, plaster the walls with Christmas cards, drink mulled wine and eat enough turkey, mince pies and Christmas pudding with brandy cream to elevate our cholesterol levels to well above the accepted thresholds for starting statin treatment.

I hope you’ve all been having a great time this Christmas and haven’t had to work too hard in Emergency Departments, which have no doubt been taking the strain from the revellers, some of whom just don’t seem to know when it’s time to stop.  Of course, behind all the alcohol and fine food, Christmas is (for Christians, at least) about celebrating the birth of a baby some 2,000 years ago.

Nativity scene by Evelyn Simak Nativity scene (Evelyn Simak) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Here’s a quick summary of the background to this…

Over 2,000 years ago Jesus was born unexpectedly, after an immaculate conception, while Mary & Joseph were visiting Bethlehem to take part in a regional census.  He was wrapped in swaddling clothes & placed in a manger because there were no guest rooms available.  He was visited by some shepherds and three Magi, who had travelled from the East having seen signs that they interpreted as signifying the birth of a king.  After the birth, the angel Gabriel warned Joseph in a dream that King Herod had heard of the birth of a ‘new king’, was wary of the threat to his power and wanted to kill him.  The Angel Gabriel warned Joseph about this in a dream and the family fled to Egypt.

Things were pretty different back then.  Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if that baby had been born in the same circumstances today, in our culture.  Might it have been something like this?…

  • Mary, who’s probably 14 or 15, becomes pregnant and says that she’s a virgin who’s become pregnant by divine intervention.  She’s reviewed by the school nurse, her GP and referred to social services, following which a case conference takes place.  There are concerns about Mary’s mental health and a psych review is arranged.  Mary tells the psychiatrists about the Holy Spirit’s intervention and is sectioned on the assumption that this must be some form of psychosis.  Unfortunately there are no local beds available and Mary is transferred out from Nazareth Royal Infirmary to Bethlehem General Hospital.
  • After the rickety transfer in the back of an ambulance, Mary starts to experience intermittent abdo pain and is taken to the ED.  Triage yellow: Significant distress.  EWS 1.
  • Jesus is born in the ED, wrapped in a bed sheet (as there are no blankets) and placed on a Resus trolley.
  • Jesus is visited by a number of people who have been following the tweets from a mysterious @angelgabriel, which told them that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem ED.
  • Three computer nerds have been hacking into top secret government websites and discovered some classified discussions about the expected arrival of a Messiah and the potential implications for international security given the growing cult following, which was largely focused around the heavy metal star John The Baptist.  They managed to track the family down to Bethlehem General and caught late flights before posting the information on Wikileaks.
  • The psychiatrists are still concerned, this time about grandiose claims that Jesus is the Messiah.  The last thing they want is a medicolegal case for a missed puerperal psychosis, so they err on the side of caution and want Mary (and the computer nerds) sectioned and Jesus taken into care.  Fortunately, in the 12 hours spent waiting for a full mental health team to arrive in the ED, Joseph gets a direct message from @angelgabriel warning them to get out of there quick.  Mary self-discharges/absconds and flees the country with Joseph.

Of course, this begs a question.   In 2012, is the equivalent of the ‘manger’ a ‘Resus trolley’?  If Jesus was born today, would an emergency physician have delivered him?  While we ponder that thought, let’s check out and get ourselves a nice glass of hot mulled wine.  Oh, and a mince pie – go on then, as it’s Christmas…

Merry Christmas from St. Emlyn’s!


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Cite this article as: Rick Body, "Christmas 2012 style: Away in a Resus Trolley, No Crib for a Bed," in St.Emlyn's, December 28, 2012,

3 thoughts on “Christmas 2012 style: Away in a Resus Trolley, No Crib for a Bed”

  1. Joseph chimes in claiming to be the ‘partner’ yet the underage teenage Mary claimed no man hath touched her. Whatever the truth may be in the face of such allegations this would raise concerns regarding their relationship and social services would have to be informed and the alleged couple interviewed separately.

    The psychiatrists would then have to consider folie à deux in their differential diagnoses. But given the three nerds’ and other random followers’ insistence on the veracity of the couple’s delusion, the diagnosis would then have to be expanded to folie à plusieurs. But the psychiatrsts could not accept such diagnoses without first ruling out organic causes for this mass delusion – magic mushrooms or any countless number of legal highs sold over the internet during the pagan festive period would enormously complicate the diagnostic process, especially the three nerds gifts to the baby Jesus of what looked suspiciously like smuggled blocks of drugs and gold bullion from the East.

    Thus the police had to be informed regarding the disposition of unknown drugs and capital, and the potential welfare of the baby and couple given the gangland boss Herod’s propensity to execute any potential usurper to his iron fisted rule.

    Whilst waiting for hours for the miracle of a bed, the mysterious messenger @angelgabriel would have alerted Joseph’s via his iPhone of the potential danger to the young family and advise immediate emigration to foreign climes. In the chaos of the ED waiting room with mass intoxication and breaches galore, the young couple and baby slip past security unnoticed and abscond into the cold night.

    Just another night at the funny farm…

Thanks so much for following. Viva la #FOAMed

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