News / USA

Trauma Expert: US Hospitals Not Equipped for Aftermath of Car Bombing

Trauma Expert: US Hospitals Not Equipped for Aftermath of Car Bombing
Trauma Expert: US Hospitals Not Equipped for Aftermath of Car Bombing

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

Since the terror attacks on the United States almost nine years ago, other attempted attacks have failed. But should one succeed, medical experts say U.S. trauma centers could be strained by a surge of patients needing emergency care.

Since September, 2001, U.S. federal buildings are more secure.  Police presence is more visible. And emergency personnel have conducted practice drills in the event of future attacks.

But what if an attack succeeds, like the recent attempted car bombing in New York. U.S. hospitals are not prepared to care for the patients that would flood emergency rooms, says the chief of the shock trauma unit at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Dr. Avi Rivkind.

"It's a problem because when you are used to treat only motor vehicle accidents or gun shot wounds [on] injured patients, it's another game when you are receiving 20 people or 30 people or 50 people together [all at the same time]," said Dr. Rivkind.

In Israel, the most senior doctors do triage.  Dr. Rivkind says Americans should copy this practice.  

Dr. Rivkind has experienced the effects of a terrorist's bomb in a crowded city and the critical need to be prepared.

"With all the expertise that we have, we are doing drills," he added.

Drills start in medical school. Dr. Rivkind says U.S. hospitals and medical schools need to conduct education and research programs on trauma.

Injuries from a car bomb are very different from other types of injuries. People breathe in the heat from the explosion and they need to receive oxygen quickly, usually through a tube. The process is called intubation.

Dr. Rivkind says in Israel, first responders - emergency medical technicians - are considered part of the trauma team. In Jerusalem, they are equipped with cameras so doctors can quickly see the patients.

"We see it on our computers,” noted Dr. Rivkind.  “We now [have] become sophisticated. We see it on our mobiles. And we can speak with them and give them advice to intubate the patient, not to intubate the patient, what to do with the patient on the scene."

The most critical time in treating a patient is in the first 60 minutes after an explosion. Dr. Rivkind's satisfaction comes in seeing patients not only survive, but thrive.

"It's happiness, satisfaction. It's the greatest thing in the world that you can achieve," he added.

Officials in New York and elsewhere are studying the operation of the shock trauma unit at Hadassah Medical Center. But, according to a congressional report, U.S. hospitals have a long way to go.

The report found that many emergency rooms are already performing at capacity, and could not handle a sudden surge of patients.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid