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24 Hours in the ER Coming to TV

Date: 2011-08-16
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London’s King’s College Hospital
Life and death decisions revealed by the unsung heroes of the emergency medical profession
“Everyone should walk through an Emergency Room at least once in their life, because it makes you realize what your priorities are…It’s the people you love, and the fact that one minute they might be there, and one minute they might be gone.”
- Liz Hobbs, ER Chief of Staff, King’s College Hospital

This Fall, BBC AMERICA unveils a major new 14-part observational documentary capturing the daily life-or-death dramas that take place in one of London’s busiest Emergency Rooms. Filmed by a BAFTA-winning team, around the clock over 28 days, with 70 specially rigged remote cameras, 24 Hours in the ER tells the intimate, emotional stories of the patients needing urgent medical attention and follows up with those lucky enough to recover to hear of life post-ER.  The documentary follows the actions of the ER’s medical staff whose decisions within the first 15 minutes of an arrival determine whether someone lives or dies.  The U.S. premiere of 24 Hours in The ER begins with a two episode back-to-back special on Tuesday, September 27, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Every day 60,000 people walk into an ER department in the UK. Around 350 of them are treated at King’s College Hospital, London. With a staff of 140, it is one of the busiest ER departments in the country.  The hospital is a major trauma centre, which means it sees some of the most serious cases in London, ranging from stabbings and shootings to car crashes and major accidents. But it's also a community hospital with its fair share of boils, cut fingers, haemorrhoids and splinters.

With unprecedented access to the hospital, the production team rigged over 14 miles of camera cable with 70 remote cameras strategically placed around its major trauma department.  The installation had to cause the minimum disruption to patients and staff.  Filming took place 24 hours a day for 28 days, capturing 4200 hours of footage. One hundred and sixty-eight people worked on the production team. The result is a raw, revealing and captivating narrative that captures life in the trauma ward, from the perspective of both patients and the medical staff, in a way that has never been done before.  

Series Producer/Director, Anthony Philipson says: “The rig allowed us to film amazingly intimate and heart-warming stories of real courage, love and dedication that captured our imagination. The drama which unfolded before us every day was far more powerful than any work of hospital fiction could hope to be.”

Each episode focuses on patients who were treated within the same 24-hour period and captures the joy and heartache faced by them and their loved ones, as well as the split second life and death decisions made by ER staff. Footage is interspersed with interviews of those involved in each case, and offers an honest insight into their experience of the emergency ward, and the harsh lessons of life that they have had to learn.

Richard De Croce, Senior Vice President Programming says: “24 Hours in The ER is a truly remarkable documentary series that is unique from anything else I’ve seen in the U.S. With unprecedented access to the ER ward, the program observes what really happens - the life and death decisions, the happy and heartbreaking moments, as they naturally unfold.”

From life-threatening traumas to embarrassing mishaps, 24 Hours in the ER is an intimate, powerful and sometimes comic insight into life - and death - on the frontline of the UK’s National Health Service and a unique portrait of human life.

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via BBC Worldwide, 8/4/11)

 

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