Doctor ‘proud’ of Royal London Hospital staff for saving 12 terror attack victims

A doctor today spoke of his pride that all 12 seriously injured victims of the London Bridge attack who were treated at the Royal London hospital had been saved.

Malik Ramadhan, who rushed back to work to run the major trauma centre’s resuscitation unit on Saturday night, said the patients benefited from “gold-standard care” in Europe’s biggest hospital. This included world-leading advances in treating major haemorrhage, with one patient a week at the hospital surviving injuries that would have been fatal a decade ago. 

The Royal London had been preparing for a terrorist atrocity since the suicide attacks in Paris in November 2015 that left 130 dead.

“Of the 12 we received, they have all survived,” Dr Ramadhan told the Standard. “The last person intubated [put on artificial breathing support] was extubated on Tuesday. 

“They have had interventions that we use every day that other hospitals don’t have available to them. That is the whole point of the major trauma centre.”

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Dr Ramadhan had been cycling home after his shift on Saturday night when he saw a convoy of police cars racing north on Old Kent Road. He called a friend to ask what was happening. “She rang back and said you should pedal as fast as you could to work,” he said.

As staff flooded back, a trauma team was assembled for each of the eight resus bays — an emergency medicine doctor, an anaesthetist, an ODP (operating department practitioner), a surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon and two nurses. Such was the response from staff that he had 10 A&E consultants, five to six surgeons and a similar number of anaesthetists more than he required to form the trauma teams.

Six patients were taken direct to theatre for life-saving interventions. Another five had surgery next day.

“We could see how some patients had been hit by something and some had been stabbed,” he said. 

“I went home at 3.30am, got home at 4am. At that point the telly was saying 20 patients were involved, at five hospitals. I thought, well, we have got 12 badly injured people, which suggested there was a lot more than 20. 

“At the time, it wasn’t relevant. My job is to make sure we are ready to see the next, and the next, and the next… if it gets to 150, how do we get to 200?

“I don’t think 12 patients is a particularly big challenge for the Royal London. We regularly have 12 trauma calls over a night shift. Twelve at once is different.”

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