Doctors and nurses work around clock to save lives

Doctors and nurses across the capital have been working around the clock since the bombings, performing scores of impromptu operations, including the removal of metal and glass from head wounds, and the amputation of limbs.

A total of 65 victims of the bomb attacks remained in London hospitals last night, where 350 of the 700 injured were taken by ambulance on Thursday.

At University College Hospital in Bloomsbury, a few hundred yards from where the Russell Square bomb ripped the roof off a double decker bus, 15 people were being treated for a variety of injuries last night. These ranged from lung shock and damaged limbs to severe burns.

Five patients were still in intensive care, with a spokesman confirming that a number of limb amputations had taken place.

"We are treating a wide range of injuries," said the spokesman. "There have been some amputations."

A staff nurse at the hospital, Ed Gomman, 26, said two blast victims were being treated in his department.

Mr Gomman said one of the victims, who had been downstairs on the No 30 bus when the bomb went off, had told him that a doctor had rushed out of the British Medical Association (BMA) building near the scene and treated him straight away. "Those doctors saved that guy's life," he said.

Mr Gomman said neither of the patients - who were treated for burns, fractures and lacerations - had spoken much about their ordeal, but that both had undergone surgery and were now recovering.

"They are fine. They have had surgery and now they are recovering well," he said. "Everyone is dealing with it really well as far as I have seen. They are laughing and joking and commenting on how well they are being treated."

Another patient being treated at UCH, 52-year-old Tadeuz Gryglewiecz from Cricklewood, north London, had been sitting at the back of the No 30 bus but had moved to a seat in the middle shortly before the explosion.

His friend Harriette Spierings, 44, from Tooting, said she was convinced that decision had saved his life.

"Initially he was at the back of the bus then a seat came free in the middle and he moved," said Ms Spierings. "That was a very lucky move."

Mr Gryglewiecz, a civil engineer originally from Poland, also escaped from the perforated eardrums suffered by many of those who had been sitting near him, thanks to the iPod he was listening to when the detonation occurred.

"A consultant said he was also very lucky to have been using an iPod," said Ms Spierings. "Some people suffer from perforated eardrums in explosions but he did not lose his hearing because he was wearing his iPod headphones."

Mr Gryglewiecz, who had also been caught up in the 1996 bomb attack on Canary Wharf, required 20 stitches to his head after suffering a deep cut and also underwent surgery on his arm on Friday.

"He managed to get off the bus himself," said Ms Spierings.

"The adrenalin was going and he never lost consciousness. He says it is quite amazing what you can do and how the body responds to a trauma like that. He was covered in blood and he had no idea where the blood was coming from or if he was bleeding."

At St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, a short distance from the Edgware Road bomb, five patients were still being treated last night. Two were in a critical but stable condition, with the others simply listed as stable. A total of 38 victims had been treated at the hospital, where one staff member said they had "seen in a day what they would normally experience in a year at A&E".

At the Royal London Hospital, a few hundred yards from Aldgate station, 17 patients were still being treated, with seven in intensive care. One, a white woman, has still to be identified.

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital was treating six people in the hospital's specialist burns unit, while the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, was still treating seven people, all of whom were described as being in a stable condition.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust said 13 blast victims remained in the hospital, with five of the patients undergoing surgery today and one still critical, while Great Ormond Street Hospital was treating two adults for injuries sustained in the blasts.

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