As the search for suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday that caused three deaths and 175 casualties continued, the superb performance of first responders, medical professionals, and Boston’s hospital personnel appears to have saved the lives of many of those who were severely wounded in the explosions.
An estimated 25 to 30 of the 175 wounded are said to have lost at least one limb, according to one police officer.
Colonel David Hunt of Fox News told Breitbart News that the scene of the bombing “was not like a war zone… it was a war zone.” He said 175 wounded is a big number of casualties on any battlefield. “Not since the Korean War have we seen this much carnage in one battle,” he said.
And yet, Hunt noted “24 hours later, not a single person who made it to a hospital alive has died.”
The first of two explosions took place at 2:52 pm on Boylston Street, about 300 yards short of the finish line of the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon. The second explosion took place 12 seconds later, about 50 yards away.
Several dozen marathon volunteer workers, including many nurses and doctors, were stationed just past the finish line in or around the medical tent that was prepared to administer to runners experiencing dehydration and other running related injuries. When the bombs exploded and it was apparent there were serious casualties, the volunteers with trauma experience raced towards the victims, where they performed the sort of triage assistance more often seen on the battlefield.
“I ran out and saw people who were missing legs and part of their face and part of their abdomen,” one nurse said. “My training prepared me for what to do, but nothing can ever really prepare you for what you see.”
While the doctors and nurses stopped the bleeding of victims with pressure and tourniquets on some and started IVs on others, emergency medical techs and passersby helped carry victims to nearby ambulances that had been stationed to move overheated and exhausted runners to nearby Boston hospitals. The medical tent had a supply of wheelchairs for runners, and these were quickly brought to help move stabilized victims from the point of impact to ambulances.
“The most amazing thing was how everyone worked in tandem,” said Stephen Segatore, a nurse. “They didn’t even have to speak a word between each other. In 20 years of nursing, this was the most amazing two hours of nursing in my life.”
Due to the skill of the first responders, most of the victims arrived at nearby hospitals within fifteen to thirty minutes of the time of the blasts. Victims were taken to several hospitals in Boston, some of which were within one mile of the attack.
Once there, the hospital trauma teams–some of the best in the nation–worked tirelessly to surgically repair what remained of lost limbs and heal the gaping wounds of the victims.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, 17 of the wounded remained in critical condition.