According to several doctors, medical staff personnel and emergency responders, the personal injuries suffered by those in the Boston Marathon explosions were nothing short of catastrophic. All medical professionals have spoken of pellets, small ball bearings, nails and other projectiles being removed from patients. It is believed that these objects were packed within the pressure cooker bombs that exploded near the finish line on April 15.
Dr. George Velmahos, the chief of the trauma unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said that it was his opinion that the assorted pieces of shrapnel were packed within the bombs. The doctor based his opinion on the high volume of the materials being extracted from those injured.
Multiple other doctors across Boston’s major hospitals have recounted similar tragic tales. Dr. Ron Walls, an emergency room doctor at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, explained how he removed nails and small ball bearings from several patients who he saw shortly following the explosions Monday afternoon. He also opined that the materials were packed within the bombs as an attempt to inflict injury to a large number of people as projectiles.
According to many doctors, the seriousness of the shrapnel wounds resulted in several victims needing amputations of their limbs and other extremities. At least two patients taken to the Boston Medical Center (“BMC”) required double-amputations, removing significant parts of both legs.
The BMC has treated 19 patients thus far, ranging in age from 5 years-old to 78 years-old. Of the 19, 16 required surgical procedures. 11 patients also underwent major surgery and likely will need further operations. 10 of the 19 patients there are listed in critical condition.
The Massachusetts General Hospital has treated over 30 victims, with 8 who remain in intensive care. The hospital has already conducted 4 trauma amputation operations.
Velmahos, after indicating his deep sadness at what happened to the victims, expressed that he was proud of how his hospital responded to the tragedy. According to reports, one doctor at the hospital came immediately into work to help after just completing his marathon run.