Princess Diana could have lived after crash, says surgeon

Princess Diana could have survived her Paris car crash, a top British surgeon told the inquest into her death yesterday (19.11.07).

Doctor Thomas Treasure said there may have been a “window of opportunity” if French medics hadn’t wasted vital time and reached the Paris hospital half
an hour earlier on 31 August, 1997.

Dr. Treasure, who was asked to review records of the treatment given to Diana for coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker, said medics did a lot of “substantial good” in the initial period after the accident but that once
Diana was in the ambulance time began “slipping away”.

While he admitted the princess’ injuries were very serious, he made clear there was a small chance she could have lived.

He said there was a difference between the French approach to victims of multiple injuries, which favours treatment by doctors at the scene, and the British approach of transporting patients to a hospital as quickly as possible.

Of Diana’s treatment Dr. Treasure said: “That’s my analysis. They (the medics) had done a lot of good in that first half hour, but from there the next big amount of good that could be done required a surgeon.”

Nicholas Hilliard, a lawyer at the inquest, asked: “Is it your view that part of that time, the essential period, was squandered?”

The surgeon replied: “It’s a hard word, isn’t it? But I think opportunities were lost. When I pick through this with the benefit of hindsight (and ask) ‘Was this recoverable?’ the answer is ‘Yes, it just about was.'”

The jury also heard the testimony of French Dr. Andre Lienhart, who told how Diana was so agitated when medics first treated her she tore out an intravenous drip medics inserted into her arm.

Despite efforts by a surgeon at the hospital and by one of France’s top cardio-thoracic surgeons, Dr. Alain Pavie, efforts to save Diana ended at 4am.

The crash in the Pont d’Alma tunnel also killed Diana’s lover Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul.