Critical Condition Series 1


4 x 60'

Production company

Brinkworth Television

Year of production


Commissioning channels

4 x 60'



Ground-breaking in its technique, Critical Condition is the only programme on TV which truly reflects the minute-by-minute reality of emergency medicine … This is how it feels to be a trauma surgeon and have to make life or death decisions in split seconds.

Every day the medical staff at the Royal University Hospital in Stoke make difficult life and death decisions. This gripping documentary series, filmed with extraordinary access to the hospital trauma unit and other emergency departments, charts the vital interventions, actions and medical strategies that the specialist consultants and their teams experience while delivering immediate life-saving care.

Critical Condition follows staff and patients as they confront the realities of emergency medicine. It’s a powerful, moving and ultimately awe-inspiring look at the work of our trauma services.

Shot with the urgency and speed of classic medical drama ER, this series follows the highly specialised work of the trauma centre as experts battle with the complex and never ending task of saving lives. Through each story viewers get to know the medical staff, doctors, nurses and surgeons tasked with the case bringing a personal and human angle to each story featured.

Critical Condition follows the cases that matter the most, where life is on the line and anything could happen at any time. Featuring a multitude of stories, from car crashes, heart attacks and strokes to medical mysteries – this is real life medical drama at its most personal, gripping and engaging.

Available as a series of 4 x 60'

For more info contact

Episode One

Episode 1

In this episode Geoff arrives after being struck down with an excruciating head pain that has left him semi-conscious. He can’t open his eyes and something is clearly very wrong.

Time is critical too for Alan, who is rushed into A&E after collapsing in the street. Every second counts as the team carry out an urgent struggle to keep him alive and stabilise him.

Stephen is rushed to hospital having just suffered a potentially lethal stroke. Within minutes, he is whisked to theatre to undergo a cutting-edge operation to have a blood clot removed to restore the supply to his brain. It’s an operation fraught with risk.

Finally, Adam is flown in by air ambulance after being involved in a car crash that has left him with open chest and head wounds.

This engaging episode of Critical Condition delivers an intimate portrait of life-saving medicine through the eyes of those who live it – the staff and the patients.

Episode Two

Episode 2

David is rushed in after being attacked with a machete. His deep head and neck wounds are shocking and he needs an urgent CT scan to properly assess his injuries.

Richard arrives at the hospital complaining of chest pain. He thinks it may be indigestion but is shocked to hear he is having a life-threatening heart attack that requires emergency surgery. There is no time to waste as he is wheeled straight up to the cardiac theatre.

Neil, a motorbike racer, is rushed in after coming off his sidecar at over 100 mph. The team are concerned that he may have serious spinal injuries as well as damage to his neck.

Finally, 17-year-old Jack is helicoptered in after falling from a substantial height on to his head. The staff are concerned about possible swelling in his brain and immediately call a neurosurgeon to insert a probe three centimetres into his brain to monitor the pressure and whether he will need life saving brain surgery.

Episode Three

Episode 3

John arrives after being stabbed numerous times in his abdomen, he's rushed straight to theatre for emergency surgery to save his life. But will the operation will leave him with lifelong complications?

17 year old Adam arrives by helicopter after an accident playing football. While undergoing an MRI scan to see the extent of any spinal damage, his mother and father sit anxiously waiting for news and the effects it might have on his life.

John has an aortic aneurism which has burst and unless he is treated he will bleed to death. But his health, age and condition are all against him leaving the doctors with a difficult decision to make.

Finally, Kevin is wheeled in having been knocked flying and unconscious by a cow’s hoof on the dairy farm where he works. Worried about a brain bleed, staff fast-track him to CT. Will this be the end of his farming career?

Episode Four

Episode 4

Gary is in the Coronary Care Unit with a life-threatening condition, he requires urgent surgery but the operation is dangerous. With every minute making a difference he has to make an instant decision and say goodbye to his family before going to theatre.

Roy arrives at hospital as something is affecting his thinking. He’s seen by the stroke team, who discover he has a blood clot in his neck and needs emergency surgery to remove it. Roy’s wife Tina, waits anxiously in the corridor as the extraordinary procedure is carried out.

And finally, Jonty arrives after falling through a skylight on a roof. He has numerous broken bones across his body, but the team are worried that he might also have serious internal bleeding. They urgently need to investigate what else might be going on.

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