Saturday 3 December 2016

Paris Terror Attacks: Eerie silence in hospital emergency departments as doctors sought to save lives

Ryan Hooper

Published 15/11/2015 | 16:44

Professor Philippe Juvin outside the Hopital Europee Georges Pompidou in Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday November 15, 2015. See PA story POLICE Paris Hospital. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Professor Philippe Juvin outside the Hopital Europee Georges Pompidou in Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday November 15, 2015. See PA story POLICE Paris Hospital. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

One of Paris's top doctors has described the eerie silence in hospital wards as traumatised patients battled for their lives following Friday's terror attacks.

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Professor Philippe Juvin, service director at Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou, said it was too early to tell whether some of the 50 young people caught up in the Bataclan theatre massacre would be left with life-changing injuries.

Professor Philippe Juvin outside the Hopital Europee Georges Pompidou in Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday November 15, 2015. See PA story POLICE Paris Hospital. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Professor Philippe Juvin outside the Hopital Europee Georges Pompidou in Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday November 15, 2015. See PA story POLICE Paris Hospital. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

He told the Press Association: "Some 15 or 20 patients are very seriously injured.

"We received both major injuries and minor. A large majority of them had been shot so suffered wounds, abdominal trauma, arm and leg trauma, and also psychological trauma.

"Of course it is something difficult to explain. You can easily imagine when you're present at a moment of such crisis, things are awful."

He said the patients were silent when they arrived, late on Friday and in the early hours of Saturday.

He said: "Nobody is speaking, you can imagine.

"It's not like in a movie when you see all the people crying. It's absolutely not the case. Patients arrived in ambulances and nobody spoke."

He said staff worked through the night and the following day to cater for the injured, the vast majority of which are French nationals - although medics were unable to ascertain this detail from patients, as many were mute.

Staff have also been offered psychological help, he said.

All hospitals in Paris were prepared to deal with an incident of its scale, he added.

"We have to wait some days before we can find out whether (patients) have lifelong injuries."

Press Association

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