Accompanied by the police, our abusive, threatening and generally unpleasant patient was taken into the care of the hospital. The police wouldn't have her in the cells until she'd been medically cleared.
Outside the A&E department, we can hear her screams and profanities, aimed at anyone who would care to listen.
A police van pulls up, and I ask if they're here for our patient.
"Nope", shrugs the sergeant. "She can die in there for all I care. In fact, if it helps, I'll give her the rope to help her on her way".
I know this sergeant, know him well. He was one of the first officers I met on a call when I started, and he'd been a sarge for years before that. I've never once seen him lose his cool like that.
"What's up?" I ask, concerned for his state of mind, rather than wondering who he was here to pick up.
"While she's sitting there screaming her head off, I've got to go and pick up the piece of dirt who tried to kill a 5-year-old, his own kid, by smashing a glass bottle over his head." He paused just long enough to regain his composure.
"I've just seen the kid." His eyes glaze over again.
I don't know what to answer, and struggle to avoid his teary eyes.
We stay outside the A&E department long enough to finish a cup of coffee, and for the sergeant to put his professional head back on.
A few calls later was an inter-hospital transfer to a paediatric unit.
When I got to meet the kid too.