Reviews PERSONAL VIEWS

The London bombings: a hospital doctor's experience

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7509.166 (Published 14 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:166
  1. Alexander Wai Ying Chen, specialist registrar in cardiology (dralexchen@doctors.org.uk)
  1. London

    I work as a cardiology registrar at University College London Hospital. On Thursday 7 July 2005 I started a ward round at 8 am. Towards the end of this round we were interrupted by an announcement that the hospital had just gone on to major incident alert, as “four bombs had gone off and multiple casualties were expected.” Our reaction to this news was initially shock and disbelief, but as soon as the staff realised the enormity of what had happened they all did everything they could to help.


    Embedded Image

    Credit: Alisdair MacDonald/Rex

    Senior medical staff quickly and proficiently assessed every patient on the medical wards, and all stable patients were taken to our sister hospital, the Middlesex. Porters and nurses worked together, helping patients from beds to wheelchairs; and ambulances transferred patients across to the other hospital in a carousel fashion. The receiving doctors accepted patients without question and efficiently reviewed each and every one to ensure safe ongoing treatment.

    The unspoken realisation that these people were the supposedly “lucky” ones strengthened our resolve to do everything we could

    At our hospital senior members of staff started coordinating the receiving units. I was amazed by how many people turned up to help: nurses who were off duty came in; doctors on …

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