News / USA

World-Famous Hospitals Helped Boston Cope With Bombing

World-Famous Hospitals Helped Boston Cope With Bombingi
X
April 18, 2013 11:57 AM
The Boston Marathon bombings killed three and injured more than 170. But many analysts are saying the number of fatalities could have been much worse if the bombings had occurred in a different city. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, Boston's top-notch hospitals and pre-planning are credited with saving lives.
World-Famous Hospitals Helped Boston Cope With Bombing
The Boston Marathon bombings killed three and injured more than 170.  But many analysts are saying the number of fatalities could have been much worse if the bombings had occurred in a different city.  Boston's top-notch hospitals and pre-planning are credited with saving lives.

When bomb victims were wheeled into the Tufts Medical Center Emergency Department, the medical personnel was in place, ready for them.

"We already had our emergency management team up and running before the bombs ever went off," said Dr. Brien Barnewolt, the chief of emergency medicine. Tufts is ready for Marathon Monday every year.

Tufts is world famous.  It's certified to handle the most severe injuries. Its Level 1 pediatric and adult trauma center is a two-minute drive from the bomb site.  In fact, six top-notch hospitals that admitted bomb patients are within a 3.5-kilometer radius of the Marathon finish line.  And, when it comes to trauma, time saves lives.

"The fact we had hospitals here that we could distribute patients to areas of expertise and do definitive care and stabilizing care right away certainly saved lives.  No question about that.  And I'm sure it saved limbs as well," explained Dr. Barnewolt.

And here's another reason. Many Boston hospitals have training areas that replicate trauma scenarios.

Tufts University School of Medicine has a clinical skills and simulation center where medical students and hospital trauma teams get trained. VOA is the first TV station permitted inside since its opening four years ago.

For practice, the patient is a remote-controlled mannequin who blinks and cries. The team has to figure out what's wrong and treat him. The instructors are watching from behind a two-way mirror, which allows them grade the team.

"We train and when we think we have everything nailed down, we train again," explained Dr. Horacio Hojman.

Dr. Hojman says that increases efficiency. "When we receive patients, everything works like clockwork.  Nobody has to talk.  We don't have to talk," he explained.

The team knows where they need to stand.  They know what the next movement is, and that really helps the patients, as it did on Monday night.   A show of hands indicated that the entire team was working in the emergency department.

"It was tough to get your mind around," recalled a trauma team member. "But in situations like this, we just all get to work.”

The simulation program doesn't include a scenario for bomb injuries.  After this week, it may have to add one.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs