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

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

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