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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid