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9/11: Emergency Room

  • Documentary

Summary

Documentary about the emergency treatment of thousands of people injured as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The film features new footage and accounts by those on the ground, including ambulance worker Juana Lomi, to provide an insight into how lives were saved as Manhattan became cut off from the rest of New York. The small Downtown Hospital was faced with numerous serious operations in contrast to its usual workload of cosmetic surgery, and boats were used on the Hudson river to evacuate people to safety.

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Review

The tiny Downtown community hospital near the World Trade Center was the New York equivalent of a cottage hospital. But on 11 September 2001 it was at the epicentre of a huge emergency medical operation.

As other, much bigger, city hospitals remained empty because the roads were impassable to ambulances (many victims had to be ferried over to New Jersey), staff at Downtown marshalled their tiny forces to help. All routine operations were scrapped, including plastic surgery: “There went my breast augmentation for the day,” smiles a plastic surgeon, who later dug deep into his medical training to save a woman who had suffered catastrophic injuries to her back and legs.

It’s a terrific, heartening film, full of thoroughly admirable people who did so much to counteract the murderous wickedness of that day.

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Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorSteve Humphries
ProducerSteve Humphries

Details

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