For the uninitiated, a hospital Emergency Department (ED) is all high-stakes drama. Teams of healthcare professionals racing to save patients suffering a heart attack, stroke, or accident.
Those incidents happen. But they only capture a fraction of what comes through the doors each day at UHN. The Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital EDs receive 120,000 patient visits a year for a range of ailments as diverse as the population they serve.
Cuts, contusions and puncture wounds. Dislocated hips and shoulders. Respiratory issues. Fractured and broken bones. Mental health and addiction issues. Even foreign objects in the body – a moth embedded in someone's ear, or swallowed knives. This is the reality.
So, when UHN ED doctor Dawn Lim approached
UHN News about using her camera to document a "day-in-the-life" of a UHN ED, it was an opportunity that could not be missed.
After all, Dr. Lim not only intimately knows the ED through her work, she's also an exceptional photographer. She showcased her keen eye in a powerful 2017 ED photo esssay for UHN Facebook, which got worldwide attention, including
on National Geographic's "Your Shot" page.
For this photo essay, Dr. Lim set out to tell everyday ED stories through her lens. They include 73-year-old woman, who arrived with a dislocated hip and a mechanic with a mangled finger. Also captured are ED staff members working to save the lives of an elderly patient suffering a stroke and a young man who attempted suicide.
The images are raw, gritty and powerful. They are also a beautiful tribute to the seamless teamwork, passion, courage and caring displayed by UHN ED staff every day.