Ups and downs in RPH ICU: book by Geoff Clarke

Clinical nurse Ann-Marie Bjelanovic, Dr Geoff Clarke and registered nurse Lisa Beahan.
Clinical nurse Ann-Marie Bjelanovic, Dr Geoff Clarke and registered nurse Lisa Beahan.

AFTER 30 years of heading Royal Perth Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Geoff Clarke has some stories to tell.

Dr Clarke recently released a 300-page book revealing some of his experiences in ICU, which he said were both humorous and sad.

“We had this young lad (15) who had Guillain-Barre, which can cause paralysis, and he was a really big Ronnie Corbett fan,” he said.

“One of nurses organised a performance with Ronnie Corbett on the ward and (Corbett) didn’t want publicity; he was a great guy and he was so nervous, he was worried it might be an anti-climax for the boy but it wasn’t at all.

“It bucked up the whole unit.”

Dr Clarke said he had worked with some incredible nurses and health professionals.

He said he hoped A History of the Intensive Care Unit within the family of Royal Perth Hospital would make readers realise ICU staff were people just like them.

“Someone told me if they saw it on a shelf, they would pass it by, thinking it was full of statistics but it’s not like that at all,” he said. “It reads like a novel but it’s all history and it’s all true.”