Paris attacks


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I have just finished listening to the excellent podcast produced by the St Emlyns team following the terrorist attacks in Paris. The interview with one of the receiving Emergency Medicine physicians, Youri Yordanov, is informative and thought provoking. Although they discuss the in hospital response to the attacks, there is still much of relevance to prehospitalists. I was really interested to hear Dr Yordanov talk about how he never thought it would happen to him and his department. We can probably all recognise this in ourselves, and as someone who was previously responsible for major incident planning, in our colleagues. The podcast highlights the value of reading and knowing your organisations major incident plan, so that, as Dr Yordanov describes, the actions to take are already embedded in your brain. At a time when your bandwidth will undoubtedly be overloaded, you can carry out the predetermined key actions to ensure your major incident response is effective from the beginning; bring order to chaos. Simon pulls out some really key features of an effective major incident response, the impact of which are described succinctly. It is reassuring to know that the planning and principles do work; huge respect to our colleagues in Paris for delivering good care in very challenging circumstances. If you are part of an organisation which may need to provide front line services in the event of a mass casualty event… everyone… have a listen, reflect and think about what it would be like. Then, if the worst happens, at least you will have exercised it in your mind.

3 thoughts on “Paris attacks

  1. Pingback: Paris attacks | Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine - THE PHARM dedicated to the memory of Dr John Hinds

  2. Accurate commentary on a podcast with a wealth of value.
    I felt the phrase “institutional intelligence” rang particularly true for PHEM types as our institution is mobile, under resourced, comprised of flash teams and much of the core team is under prepared for the enormity of such events. Such events will occur here again.
    More energy and effort needs to be applied to preparing our teams for this. The medium and long term impact on the first responders could form a catastrophic weakening of these services’ capabilities.


    • Thanks Rusty, I agree with you about flash teams particularly, and there is no question that the impact on first responders would be enormous.


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