The head of the emergency department at the Paris hospital which treated many of victims of Friday’s terror attacks has described how doctors coped with a sudden influx of seriously injured.
Philippe Juvin, from Georges Pompidou Hospital, told Euronews’ Gregoire Lory how he cleared out the ward of non-essential patients as news started to break and operated an emergency protocol to call in extra help:
“I had a pleasant surprise because not only the ones turned up whom I called but those whom I hadn’t called too and even people whom I didn’t know… I had one couple of doctors from Brittanz who were on holiday in Paris and who arrived at the emergency ward to say ‘Well, we came to help out.’
“At one point I had more people who didn’t work at the hospital than who did work there because they had decided to lend a hand. It was great.”
The problem was not the nature of the injuries – mainly gunshot wounds to the body and limbs – but the volume of cases: Some 50 patients arrived in a short time, requiring a strict assessment to ensure the most dangerously hurt could be treated first
The hospital had run an exercise on dealing with a terrorist attack that very day, so everyone knew what to do, Juvin said. The preparations are perhaps the reason that the hospital didn’t see any deaths, he added.
However, the emergency stabilisation is only the first step, the victims will require ongoing care for their physical and psycological damage.
“Our work is only just beginning, “ Juvin said.