Manchester Arena bomb victim ‘could have been saved if treated earlier in hospital’

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An investigation has heard that the victim of the Manchester Arena bombing could have been saved if he had received hospital treatment sooner.

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Healthcare worker John Atkinson, 28, stood just six meters from the bomb, which detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

He lay on the arena’s foyer floor in agony for 47 minutes before going into cardiac arrest at the scene one hour and 16 minutes after the explosion.


On Thursday, cardiology specialist Dr Paul Rees told interrogation that if he had been treated in the hospital earlier, he might have been alive.

He added: “If it were possible to remove them from the scene before cardiac arrest occurred and to be delivered safely to a pre-alert trauma team with access to comprehensive blood products, it might have been possible to survive.”

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Mr Atkinson suffered serious leg injuries after bomber Salman Abedi detonated a bomb in the foyer of the City Room, killing 22 people.

As he lay in the foyer for about 50 minutes, he bled profusely before being taken to Victoria Station by officers.

An additional 20 minutes passed before he went into cardiac arrest and was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The investigation heard that a member of the public, Ronald Blake, was forced to put on his wife’s belt and a T-shirt on Mr Atkinson’s leg an hour before paramedics arrived.

Tributes were paid in the city center after the atrocities

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Tributes were paid in the city center after the atrocities

A panel of blast wave experts also agreed with Dr Rees, believing that Mr Atkinson could have avoided earlier medical intervention.

The investigation also heard that control of bleeding should be achieved as quickly as possible within a period of military training called the “platinum 10 minutes”.

A preliminary post-mortem by Mr Atkinson concluded that the health worker died of blood loss due to an injury to his leg, but also noted that he had significant heart disease.

However, Dr Rees found that heart disease was not a significant contributor to the blood loss experienced by Mr Atkinson and was unlikely to adversely affect the outcome of his eventual resuscitation.

The Manchester Arena Inquiry aims to investigate the deaths of the victims and began on 7 September 2020.


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