PARIS — A series of major terrorist attacks since 2015 has changed life in France in big and small ways. Now it is about to change training requirements for French medical students. Beginning in September, every Faculty of Medicine in France must provide a training class for all of its students on how to treat victims of terrorist attacks, the French daily Le Figaro reports.
Originally only required for medical students at military institutions, these courses will now be taught at specialized training centers to all second-year students of any medical-related field, which includes not only physicians, but also dentists and pharmacists. The initiative aims to help master basic life-saving procedures such as body extraction, injury assessment and skills for carrying out health-care procedures in a hostile environment. French weekly Le Point reports that some students will also receive training on “damage control,” a temporary surgery technique to avoid blood loss before hospital care is possible.
More attacks are bound to happen.
This decision is part of the growing awareness among French institutions that long-term policies are needed to live in a future where more terrorist attacks are bound to happen. Since January 2015, eight separate jihadist attacks have killed a total of 239 people. The ultimate goal in this new medical education initiative is to train 750,000 people across France, including as many current medical personnel as possible.
Dr. Denis Safran, a specialist in French emergency intervention, who was on site on Nov. 15, 2015 at the Paris attack, says its important that more people are trained in such techniques. “Many people, even doctors, are sometimes afraid to make things worse by intervening," Safran told Le Figaro. "But it’s precisely not doing anything to help the victim that can aggravate the situation.”