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Send for the Engineer!

HERBERT BARRIE, MD, FRCP
Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(3):284-285. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130270076031.
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ABSTRACT

London.—My Chief 30 years ago (I shall have more to say about him this year when he celebrates his 85th birthday) endeared himself to us in many ways, one being the way he might suddenly bellow in the middle of a ward round, "Send for the Engineer!" An urgent summons could be dispatched by all kinds of minor defects, for instance a flickering x-ray viewing box or a squeaking crib. The cribs all had overhead telescoping lights which you were supposed to push up out of reach of small fingers, but they rarely worked so "when they were up they were up, and when they were down they were down, and when they were only half way up they were neither up nor down." Elbow-taps were another special bête noire because they invariably drew nearer and nearer the wall until they defied the most determined and pointed elbows. Up

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