Blasts Turned Boston's Hospitals Into War Zones

Injuries seen in yesterday's explosions among toughest to treat, experts say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2013 1:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Boston Marathon bombing left the region's hospitals dealing with scores of injuries more commonly seen in war zones. The wounds suffered by many of the 144 victims taken to hospitals are among the most difficult to treat, because explosions send out "an invisible wall of energy" that can cause massive internal injuries, experts tell USA Today. Many victims sustained shrapnel injuries to their legs and at least 10 amputations have been performed, CNN reports.

"Injuries range from minor eardrum blasts to really serious limb injuries and serious head injuries, as well," the chief of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital tells the Boston Herald. But Boston is about as prepared as a city can get for this kind of horror, experts say. It has some of the best hospitals in the world and a widely praised emergency management system. Military doctors say that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led to major advances in treating the kind of injuries Boston is now dealing with, and these lessons are hopefully playing a role in saving lives now.

Rescue personnel aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.   (AP Photo/The Boston Herald, Stuart Cahill)
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