31 March 2004
MADRID – Almost three weeks after the Madrid bombings medical staff treating those injured said Wednesday they were still trying to stabilise 90 patients.
They said many were still suffering from serious thoracic and lung problems as well as burns.
But others who were suffering from internal cuts and multiple injuries had progressed from being in a grave state to a better condition.
Rosa Pérez Cano, head of plastic surgery at the Gregorio Marañón hospital, had dealt with many of the 300 patients who have been admitted since the first morning of the attacks almost three weeks ago on 11 March.
So far, 191 people have died.
Cano said that they have been trying to save legs or to treat problems with burns to faces, but the first priority was to save vital organs .
She gave the example of one woman who was undergoing surgery Wednesday for a chest contusion.
She had been a patient who doctors had believed would never make it this far, but “day by day she was getting better”.
Cano said she was hoping to rebuild her face with plastic surgery – a moment they had been hoping for since 12 March, the day after the attacks.
Cano also gave the case of a foreigner who only arrived in Spain exactly two weeks before they were caught up in the 11 March attacks.
Milagros Marín, medical director at the Doce de Octubre hospital, said medical staff had to wait until patients left intensive care before they could have plastic surgery.
But he said the first priority had been to try to stabilise their condition and to stop them from dying.
The doctors said Tuesday had been a day of contradictory moments; they had to amputate the foot of one patient whose leg had been so badly burnt.
But medical staff had been cheered when a woman woke from her coma.
Cano added: “If God helps us a little, we will not have to amputate anything more.”
Many faces had been burnt by the flash of the explosion, but the worst burns were to patients’ legs, said the doctors.
Victims’ trousers had caught fire, leaving them with ‘third degree’ burns.
Marin said no medical staff at the Doce de Octubre hospital were suffering from symptoms of depression or stress.
He said the feeling was that “all the world had shown support”.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news