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An off-duty doctor, who tried to resuscitate Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster, has told the inquests that a hospital was geared up for "the wrong sort of victims."
Dr Edward Walker reported to the Northern General in Sheffield after seeing the disaster unfold on television and was the only anaesthetist present there in the early stage of the emergency response.
The witness said the hospital's major incident plan had not been instigated when he arrived at about 3.20pm and that reports about what had happened were vague.
"Somebody suggested that there might actually have been an explosion at the shopping centre," he added.
The court in Warrington heard that Dr Walker wrote a report in 1997 saying that a lack of early detail about the types of injury "meant that the department was geared up for the wrong sort of victims."
He added that a lack of equipment and the volume of patients created difficulties when treating patients.
The Hillsborough inquests have heard how hospital staff in South Yorkshire sent a number of casualties to a mortuary without trying to resuscitate them.
A consultant in A and E said he didn't initially have enough staff to deal with the large numbers of casualties arriving in very quick succession at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital.
The coroner heard the hospital's disaster plan "stuttered" into action and patients began arriving while preparations were still underway.
The Hillsborough inquests have heard how doctors sent a number of casualties to a hospital mortuary without trying to resuscitate them.
Emergency consultant Dr James Wardrope said he didn't have enough staff to deal with the large numbers of casualties arriving in very quick succession at Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.
The witness, who was in charge of the Accident and Emergency Unit in 1989, said a nurse told him: "They're sending us dead patients."
Dr Wardrope, who was prioritising patients for treatment, said: "I had certainly one patient at that time waiting to get into resuscitation who was unconscious but breathing... I had to make a decision and the decision was that those patients arriving in cardiac arrest were dead."
The court heard that about four or five patients were sent straight to the temporary mortuary rather than to an area where medics would have tried to resuscitate them.
The hospital received 88 casualties from the disaster, 11 of whom died on arrival or in the department. Three people died later.
The inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans during the Hillsborough disaster will resume today following the Christmas break.
The court in Warrington is expected how the A&E department at the Northern General Hospital where injured fans were taken dealt with the aftermath of the disaster.
A senior police officer has told the Hillsborough inquests how it was 20 minutes after the game was stopped before police headquarters realised they were dealing with fatalities.
The special court in Cheshire heard that staff in the control room in Sheffield initially thought there had been a fight at the football ground.
The man in charge of the room said today that he and his staff were working blind.
Andy Bonner reports.
The Hillsborough inquests have heard that a control room operator held off sending a fleet of ambulances to the ground because the service had officers there assessing the situation.
The jury was shown a log of a police radio request to the South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service at 3.08pm for all available ambulances to be sent.
Yesterday, Paul Eason, who was described as being the "eyes and ears" of the ambulance control room at the stadium, agreed that his assessment of what was happening was flawed and that valuable minutes were lost.
Mark George QC, representing 22 of the bereaved families, said today: "Unfortunately on this day, the eyes were blurred and the ears were blocked."
The retired station officer agreed that some people carried up the pitch on their backs probably died in that time and that lives probably would have been saved if a sterile treatment area had been set up on the pitch near the pens.
A senior ambulance man, tasked with assessing the unfolding tragedy at Hillsborough, has told a court he made a mistake and lost valuable minutes. The fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans has heard that Paul Eason did not find out what was happening, and now thinks his original assessment was flawed. The station officer said he thought there had been a crowd disturbance and helped a man for a suspected broken leg minutes before the match was stopped.
Andy Bonner reports:
The Football Association's former head of external affairs today told the fresh inquests into the Hillsborough disaster that when he first saw fans climbing over the perimeter fence he thought it was crowd misconduct.
Glen Kirton said he and former FA boss Graham Kelly were told by the police match commander David Duckenfield that fans had broken into the stadium. It wasn't until later that he learned the police had actually opened the gates to allow the fans in.
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