Surgeon to reflect on Troubles in U.S. speech

Professor Roy Spence

Shelley Marsden

BELFAST surgeon and Queen’s University Professor Roy Spence is set to tell US medics about his experience of treating hundreds of victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Prof Spence will address several thousand US surgeons with Reflections of a Surgeon in Troubled Times, speaking about his time working through the conflict in the north, and also sharing his thoughts on the latter years of relative peace.

He will deliver the prestigious I.S Ravdin Lecture in Washington on October 7 – the first time the lecture has been offered to a surgeon in its history.

From the late 1960s until 1998, when the Troubles ended with the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, more than 3,600 were killed and more than 47,500 were injured. The surgeon will discuss how those incredibly tough circumstances brought advances to trauma practice in his country.

He said: “I hope to pay tribute to my colleagues in vascular surgery, who used shunts in injuries to limb arteries and veins caused by gunshot wounds and, in particular, the unique injury kneecapping in Northern Ireland.

“I will also recall the incredible work of colleagues in neurosurgery, who proposed early ventilation of patients with gunshot wounds of the head and the replacement of missing skull fragments, caused by bullets, with titanium plates.”


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