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April 16, 2013

Hospitals treat carnage after blasts

BOSTON (AP) — Boston hospitals that were prepared Monday to treat injuries from a rigorous road race instead mobilized disaster plans to treat the dozens seriously injured in the explosions that killed three people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

“This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population,” said Dr. Alisdair Conn, chief of emergency services at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“This is what we expect from war.”

The hospital treated at least 29 victims, eight of whom were critically injured, including some with amputated legs.

“The worst ones were traumatic amputations. To use the vernacular, people coming in by ambulance with their legs blown off,” he said.

Many children were among the injured. Meghan Weber, a spokeswoman at Boston Children’s Hospital said the hospital treated eight children ranging in age from a 2-year-old boy with a head injury, to a 14-year-old boy also with a head injury. Two adults were also treated at the hospital.

The victims’ conditions ranged from serious to good, Weber said.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported treating a 3-year-old child who was later transferred to Children’s Hospital.

Emily Clark, a junior at Boston College from Weymouth, ran in the marathon, then later went to Massachusetts General Hospital with two friends to try to donate blood to help the victims. She was told the hospital was too busy to accept blood but was asked to return on Tuesday.

Clark said she was about a half mile from the finish line when the runners were told to stop, but they didn’t believe there were explosions and, in the confusion, kept running.

Only when they discovered the streets were closed did they turn around.

“There was no cellphone service, no one could get through. Everybody was panicking,” Clark said.

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