Baton-charging Spanish police injured 23 people over the age of 79, two children under 11

Most of the 1,066 people injured by the police were treated for blunt trauma

Out of the 991 people who sought medical attention on October 1, either in Primary Care centres or in hospitals, twenty-three were over the age of 79 and two were children younger than 11, according to a report written by Catalonia’s Health Ministry on the medical attention provided to those injured by baton charges on the day of the independence referendum. The report states that a total of 1,066 members of the public required medical assistance: 991 were treated that same day (Sunday October 1), whereas a further 75 saw their doctor over the next few days, up until October 4.

Most of those injured on the day of the referendum were treated for blunt trauma (82.5 per cent) and in 83 per cent of the cases the injuries were classed as minor. Over the following days, 93.3 per cent of new cases were also treated for blunt trauma or polytrauma. By age, nearly half the people injured were 41 to 65 years old, while about 40 per cent were in the 18 to 40 range. The remaining 10 per cent were older than 65, and only two per cent were minors.

Following the release of the ministerial report, Catalonia’s Board of Physicians (CCMC, in Catalan) stressed that the information provided confirms the veracity of the reports written up by health care professionals after treating the injured, and that the appropriate course of action was taken. This professional body, which speaks for the four medical boards of Catalonia thanked the Ministry for releasing the information detailing all the cases treated as a result of the police charges on the day of the vote. According to the chairman of the CCMC, Dr Josep Vilaplana, “this information will end the controversy stirred up by some media who doubted our doctors in an attempt to play down the seriousness of people’s injuries”.

Twelve police officers were injured

The report indicates that five of the patients treated on October 1 were in serious condition. Among them was a senior who had a heart attack and was only discharged this week, as well as the young man who had taken a rubber bullet to the eye. Also serious were three blunt trauma patients. One was treated in Hospital Plató and presented trauma to the head and abdomen, with a hypertensive crisis. Another was admitted to the Hospital de Santa Caterina with a head injury and loss of consciousness. The third patient was treated of injuries to the shoulder and right trapeze muscle at Hospital de Sant Pau.

Among the members of the public who were treated on October 1, thirty-six had passed out or presented low blood pressure, while twenty-eight had panic attacks. Two of the 75 cases treated between October 2 and 4 were serious. A broken femur was treated at Hospital de Sant Pau and a person with multiple bruises and abrasions in La Ràpita.

The baton charges by Spanish police mostly affected men (69 per cent), both on October 1 and over the following days. By health region, the Barcelona city area saw 325 patients on October 1 (32 per cent) and 254 in Girona (26 per cent). Lleida, Alt Pirineu and Aran saw 123 injured people (12 per cent), while 106 were recorded in Terres de l’Ebre (11 per cent). In the following week (from October 2 to 4), Girona was the region where the largest number of people needed medical attention, accounting for 50 per cent of all new patients, while Barcelona saw a further 15, which represents 20 per cent of the total number. The numbers in the other health regions were very small.

The report by the Health Ministry also mentions that 9 Spanish Police officers, 2 Guardia Civil and 2 Catalan police were also injured on October 1.

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