Your story of the deadly thorns
[A thorny issue, February issue] reminds me of an incident many years ago. One of my patients presented with a swollen arm. He had been playing golf on the South Downs and while retrieving his ball from under a blackthorn bush had pricked his hand. He played on for a couple of holes, felt faint, collapsed and was rushed to Brighton Hospital. The medical opinion confirmed the diagnosis of the deadly thorn.
He presented to me two days later with a more swollen arm, discoloured and with some bruising. On closer examination there were two puncture marks confirming my suspicion that he had been bitten by an adder.
I presented his case to my colleague and partner, John Donald, ending with: “Antibiotics, tetanus immunisation, a sling and rest. Do you agree, Doctor?”
Dear Dr Donald (himself a scratch golfer) replied: “What you really need is some golf lessons.” Andrew Harding
Haywards Heath, West Sussex