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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid