Boston Bombing Injuries Like a 'War Zone'04/16/13
TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Authorities were searching
Tuesday for suspects and motives behind the twin bombings near the
finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon that killed
three people and injured more than 140 others.
The dead included an 8-year-old boy who was waiting for his
father to finish the famous race.
The injured -- spectators and runners alike -- were rushed to
eight area hospitals. Some had severed limbs, others suffered
shrapnel wounds, burns, fractures and eardrums damaged from the
shock waves of the explosions that occurred shortly before 3 p.m.
At least 10 of the wounded were children, the
"For many, many people in emergency medicine who are practicing domestically and not in the military, these are once-in-a-lifetime events," said Dr. Ron Walls, chairman of Brigham and Women's Hospital's Department of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Sushrut Jangi, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center, told of injuries more common to battlefields: "There were
victims coming in with both legs blown off. I had never seen
anything like that."
One doctor who was about 150 yards from the explosions told
ABC Newsthat "we all went running over there, and started to
bring people into the medical tent" that had originally been set up
to treat exhausted or dehydrated runners. "It was not good. Very
bad. Like a war zone. 9/11 immediately came to mind."
Blood and broken glass covered the sidewalks within seconds of
The first explosion occurred about four hours after the winners
had crossed the finish line for the marathon, held every year on
Patriots Day, a state holiday that commemorates the start of the
American Revolution. Another blast rocked the area about 10 seconds
later and several hundred feet away.
Authorities streamed onto the race course to carry away the
injured. Runners who hadn't finished the 26.2-mile race were routed
away from the site of the explosions, the
"We still do not know who did this or why; we still don't have all the facts," President Barack Obama said shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. "We will get to the bottom of this. We will find who did this, and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."
A White House official, speaking anonymously because the
investigation is still unfolding, said the attack was being treated
as a terrorist act, the
The police said they had no suspects in custody, and officials
in Washington said no person or group had claimed responsibility,
"There are a lot of people down," a male runner told the APMonday. Another runner, Laura McLean from Toronto, said, "There are people who are really, really bloody." She was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was moved out to make room for people injured in the explosions.
TV footage taken from a helicopter showed blood staining the
pavement in the popular Back Bay shopping and tourist area.
One expert said the psychological impact on those at the scene
could be severe.
"Families of those impacted, as well as witnesses of the horror, may require support and psychological First Aid," said Dr. Victor Fornari, director of the division of child/adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
"We have learned that we must care for the first responders as well, their work exposes them to traumatic impact," he added.
Relatives of the children and educators killed in the Newtown,
Conn., school shootings in December were guests at the marathon's
finish line tent. A theme of this year's marathon was "26 Miles for
26 Victims," the
Boston Athletic Association President Joanne Flaminio had said
before the race there was "special significance" to the fact that
the marathon is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook
None of the Newtown runners or their supporters was hurt in the
bombing, according to the running team's Facebook page, the New
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