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Research Article

Medical planning for a major event: the Pope's visit to Coventry Airport, 30 May 1982.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 03 July 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:51
  1. J G Avery,
  2. J G Chitnis,
  3. P J Daly,
  4. G T Pollock


    The five-hour day visit by the Pope to Coventry Airport on 30 May 1982 required a major exercise in medical planning. First- and second-line first-aid facilities were provided by the British Red Cross Society and the St John Ambulance Association. Hospital facilities were provided in a 30-bed Territorial Army field hospital. The visit attracted a crowd of 350,000; 1424 casualties were seen at first-aid stations and 152 at the field hospital. Twenty patients required transfer to NHS hospitals for further treatment, and one woman died. Most ailments experienced were headaches and effects of heat, blisters, and abdominal symptoms. The field hospital treated a wide range of conditions including cardiac conditions, fractures, premature labour, and acute abdominal emergencies.