At any given moment, 365 days a year, someone will be in need of emergency or trauma care at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital.
On average eight people a day will require the skills of the emergency department’s trauma team in the resuscitation unit for potentially life-saving intervention.
About 50,000 people a year go to the department for treatment.
Whether it’s a stroke, a heart attack, an overdose, a road accident or a stabbing, the emergency team is on hand to immediately respond to the call.
When the Tele visited the department it was busy with patients who were waiting to be seen.
Others were receiving attention in the general treatment bays and being dealt with in the re-sus unit.
One suspected meningitis case had been whipped out of the re-sus unit for investigation and treatment elsewhere in the hospital.
In the main treatment area, nurses were dealing with a patient who had overdosed and was falling in and out of consciousness, while another patient with suspected crush injuries was being checked over following an accident involving a horse.
Since last November, the emergency department at Ninewells became a designated major trauma centre as part of the Scottish Trauma Network, one of four in Scotland with others in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Consultant Julie Ronald is the clinical lead in the department and heads up a team of 16 consultants, eight registrars and more than 50 nurses.
Julie said: “The unit never stops and we have to be ready for anything.
“We cover everything from minor injuries to major conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.
“We also deal with inflicted injuries such as stabbings and regularly treat people who have had a drug overdose or are seriously intoxicated through alcohol.”
She added the hospital is constantly on standby for any type of major incident that could occur. Julie said: “We are prepared for major road accidents, or other major incidents and are also on call during big events in the region, such as gigs at Slessor Gardens.
“When T in the Park was on we were the main emergency centre.
“Now we are forewarned of gigs at Slessor Gardens and can bring extra staff in to deal with anything that might happen.”
The staff in trauma care are constantly in contact with paramedic colleagues as they get an idea of what to expect through the door.
Julie said: “When we receive that call from the paramedics, it warns us and we can get prepared.
“We have to act quickly and efficiently and deal with whatever comes our way. To do that we have a diverse team of specialists in the unit.
“We prioritise patients by the seriousness of their condition.
“Major emergencies are seen immediately, incidents such as a heart attack and strokes are seen within 10 minutes, lesser emergencies within two hours and minor injuries within four hours.
“We lead the way in Scotland and see between 95% to 98% of patients within the recommended four hours.”