Stories from London

There are lots of stories circulating about healthcare workers who were on the scene of last Thursday's bombings in London, including some from physicians who were attending meetings at the British Medical Association's headquarters, outside whose doors the double-decker bus exploded.

From The Australian:

    Lawrence Buckman, a member of the BMA's GP committee, was one of dozens of doctors who happened to be attending meetings inside the association offices, and at least 10 of them were on the scene within seconds.

    "We got there before the emergency services and did what we could," he said.

From the the BBC:

    [Among the doctors at the weekly BMA meeting] was Dr Peter Holden, a family doctor from Matlock, Derbyshire, who has specialist training for emergency situations.

    Under his command, 14 doctors set up a mini-hospital inside one of the stately rooms and outside in the courtyard to treat the casualties.

    Dr Holden is one of a small group of medics known as medical incident officers who are trained in how to handle major incidents, including co-ordinating emergency services.

    He told BBC News: "We set up a casualty clearing station in one of the rooms to assess the victims and deal with the most serious.

From the News Telegraph, first-hand accounts:

    At around a quarter to nine the next morning, I had packed my bags and was just leaving when I heard a big "whomping" sound. It was too deep and thick to be the sound of a car crash.

    I looked up the road towards the BMA building and saw the wreckage of the No 30 bus. Colleagues were coming out of the BMA offices and I realised that there were casualties. I left my bags and ran towards them.

    On the ground there was a big circle of handbags, glass, metal and clothes material. Then I ran past a limb. From there to the bus there were other "bits" - other pieces of people - as well. One of my colleagues was assessing each patient, to put them in order of priority. There were lots of fractures and burns. There were head and neck injuries...

    We put patients on tabletops from the BMA building and took them into the BMA's courtyard, to get them off the road. By the end of the morning, they had all been taken to hospital.

To those docs, and all who trained them in emergency preparedness and triage, thank you.

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