Dr Sarah Pape is a leading UK expert in her two main fields of work – the treatment of acute burns and reconstructive plastic surgery. In 2015, following a devastating fire at the Club Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest where 64 Romanians lost their lives, Dr Pape voluntarily deployed to the scene within hours of hearing of the incident. She arrived in Romania at a critical point with the Romanian medical system overwhelmed dealing with over 150 casualties of which 88 requiring critical care, and insufficient burns facilities across the country. In the immediate aftermath, Dr Pape provided expert clinical advice to Romanian medics and helped coordinate the emergency response across three hospitals in Bucharest. In the following days, Dr Pape worked tirelessly to help arrange the transfer of many patients with severe burns to other European countries in order to facilitate the specialist care they required and to free up resources in the Romanian system. Thanks to her vital contribution, many of these patients received a higher level of care than they otherwise could have expected.
On learning of her award Sarah Pape said “While I am honoured to receive this acknowledgement of my initiation and co-ordination of the UK response to the Bucharest night club fire, the fact that so many patients survived reflects the quality of care provided in Romania, during their evacuation and in many burns centres around the UK”