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Youngest victim of Ariana Grande Manchester Arena bombing may have survived with ‘better first aid’

Josh Milton January 18, 2021
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An order of service for the funeral of Manchester Arena bomb victim Saffie-Rose Roussos

An order of service for the funeral of Manchester Arena bomb victim Saffie-Rose Roussos. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The youngest victim of the Ariana Grande Manchester Arena bombing might have survived if she received “better first aid”, experts have suggested.

Saffie-Rose Roussos, just eight, was among the 22 who died in an explosion enacted by suicide bomber Salman Abedi in 2017 that tore through the stadium in the northwest England city. She died of blood loss after her legs were injured.

Her Leyland, Lancashire, family had long believed that the schoolgirl died instantly in the explosion. However, a report commissioned by them unearthed the haunting revelation that she may have survived for up to an hour after the blast.

“Am I going to die?” Saffie-Rose asked a paramedic while in an ambulance on the way to a hospital, the report found.

Frontline responders did not use “better first aid”, such as simple tourniquets or splints to apply pressure and reduce the bleeding, the report claimed according to the BBC.

This clashed with an independent public inquiry established by home secretary Priti Patel which said Roussos’s wounds were not survivable.

Under rubble, the youngest victim of Manchester Arena bombing pleaded for her mother, chilling report finds

Lawyers representing the Roussos family hired experts not involved in the Manchester Arena inquiry, as well as examining surveillance footage, witness statements and body cameras worn by emergency service workers.

In a startling write-up that left the victim’s loved ones rattled and distressed, the report found that Saffie-Rose was not unconscious after the incident as first thought – she was awake.

Lifting her head out of the rubble, the report stated, she attempted to push herself up with her arms and begged for her mother as medics gave her water. Despite bleeding heavily, emergency workers did not seek to stop the bleeding, it is alleged.

The carpet of floral tributes to the victims and injured of the Manchester Arena bombing
The carpet of floral tributes to the victims and injured of the Manchester Arena bombing. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Saffie-Rose was the first to be taken out of the wrecked foyer – carried on a jerry-rigged shifter made of a billboard and railings – only for rescuers to have to flag an ambulance down as one was not waiting.

The vehicle Saffie-Rose eventually boarded, the report found, was not properly stocked with equipment. “Medically trained people were with her,” said father Andrew Roussos, describing how his daughter tugged on her oxygen mask as she wondered whether she was going to die.

“And she was asking for help,” he told the broadcaster. “She knew what was happening. And she bled to death.

“Eight-year-olds don’t ask those questions. Doesn’t matter how hurt they are, they want their mum. They want to be treated, they want to be out of pain.

“Not to be in the sound mind to ask the paramedic whether she’s going to die.”

Neither ambulance crew nor healthcare providers in the accident and emergency department gave Saffie-Rose a tourniquet, it is claimed. The report also struggled to discern why the trauma team did not give her a thoracotomy, a surgical procedure which opens the patient’s chest.

The second phase of Manchester Arena inquiry is set to re-commence after the Christmas break Monday (18 January).

Related topics: Ariana Grande, Manchester, Manchester Arena bombing, UK

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