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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

‘We tried everything to get her heart beating’: Doctor who tried to save Princess Diana


by Jennifer McShane
20th Jun 2021

A doctor who fought to save Princess Diana’s life after her tragic car crash has spoken about how he tried “everything possible” to get her heart beating again.

MonSef Dahman was on duty at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in the early hours of August 31, 1997 when William and Harry’s mother was tragically involved in a road accident in Paris.

He explained he was called to the accident and emergency department to treat a “young woman” involved in an accident.

“I was resting in the duty room when I got a call from Bruno Riou, the senior duty anesthetist, telling me to go to the emergency room,” Dr. Dahman told the Daily Mail. “I wasn’t told it was Lady Diana, but [only] that there’d been a serious accident involving a young woman.”

He declined to describe the full details of treatment for the Princess of Wales, but he said an X-ray revealed she was suffering “very serious internal bleeding”, and underwent a procedure to help remove excess fluid from her chest cavity as well as blood transfusions.

“We tried everything”

I did this [procedure] to enable her to breathe,” Dr Dahman explained. “Her heart couldn’t function properly because it was lacking in blood.”

The surgery revealed that Diana had suffered a significant tear in her pericardium, which protects the heart.

The treating team continued to try to resuscitate Diana for a full hour, but “we could not get her heart beating again.”

“We fought hard, we tried a lot, really an awful lot. Frankly, when you are working in those conditions, you don’t notice the passage of time,” he said.

“The only thing that is important is that we did everything possible for this young woman.”

He added that not being able to save her life “affected him very much.”

Some years after Diana’s death, a review of the medical evidence for the inquiry into Diana’s death found that those involved in the emergency treatment and surgery made “every effort” to save the princess’s life.

“No other strategy would have affected the outcome,” the report concluded, detailing the French emergency medical staff involved that night made every conceivable effort to save her life.

The doctor explained one of his reasons for speaking out now is to reiterate and contradict the conspiracy theories which claim her death was part of a murderous plot.

Diana would have been celebrating her 60th birthday this year.

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