Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Aqeel Bhutta, Talks about His Experience the Night of the Manchester Bombing

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Aqeel Bhutta, who was called to aid victims at hospital on the night of the Manchester bombing, has spoken for the first time about his experience.


Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Aqeel Bhutta, Talks about His Experience the Night of the Manchester Bombing​

Mr Bhutta, who works out of Royal Oldham Hospital, was at home when news broke of the incident at Manchester Arena.

At around 3am he received a call asking him to go to North Manchester General Hospital to help treat the victims of the suicide bombing which killed 22.

As an orthopaedic surgeon Mr Bhutta specialises in dealing with bone fractures and injuries.

Mr Bhutta said that plans and preparation to enable emergency services to cope with a major incident ensured an element of calm among the panic.

He said: "I got a call to tell me there had been a major incident. We have got an initial plan to make sure that there is enough staff and we put the plans in place, so I got called to North Manchester Hospital at around 3am.

"In training you are taught about the injuries that people may have, you understand them and you know how to deal with them.

"You train to deal with people involved in car crashes, the difference with this was that it was a bomb blast, which is something you don't train for unless you are in the military.

"When I first got to North Manchester there were three patients who were significantly injured.

"It is high pressure but I suppose any situation is high pressured. If you are prepared for it you can attempt to deal with it. Because it was an extreme situation we weren't just running on normal staff, we had the staff to deal with it."

Mr Bhutta explained that hospitals collaborate with each other and know what equipment they have so they can decide which site would be best suited for the victims' needs and reduce the amount of time they have to wait for treatment.

"The right patients went to the right places so the hospitals weren't overloaded," he said.

He described how patients had suffered injures from bolts and shrapnel, tearing muscle and fracturing bones. He said it would take years for some to recover.

Throughout the situation Mr Bhutta had stayed calm, and switched into "work mode'" to do his best for the patients. It was when he saw the family of one of the victims who was about to go into theatre that the realisation of how close to home the attack was.

He said: "I suppose everyone is different, but there is a job to do and you know why you are doing it so you can manage it. It was when one of the patients was about to go into theatre, and the family were there, that brought it home for me. You do feel that loss and you have that loss with you."

While the terrorist attack was intended to divide and destroy, it has had the opposite effect and has engendered a huge amount of community spirit, Mr Bhutta said.

"After the attack there has been so much support, everybody has helped out and we have seen all the fundraising from charities. It shows a huge amount of community spirit," he added. "We are together, it is something that I have never experienced before."

Susan Ashworth, operating theatre manager at Royal Oldham, said: "I'd like to give a big thanks to all of the staff who volunteered and helped run the service in such difficult circumstances. Thanks to all their hard work, everything went to plan."

Mr Bhutta spoke to Joseph Metcalfe of the Oldham Chronicle


Source: Rochdale online



Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Aqeel Bhutta, Talks about His Experience the Night of the Manchester Bombing

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