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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More