Nightly News   |  April 15, 2013

Boston doctor: multiple injuries to people’s legs

Boston hospitals have drilled for the unthinkable, but it certainly wasn’t something they expected on Monday. Dr. Ron Walls, Chief of Emergency Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains a fair number of people were injured by flying objects and shrapnel.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are now joined by dr. ron walls, chief of emergency services at brigham and women's. thank you very much for taking time to talk with us tonight. a couple of things i'm struck by watching the coverage today. number one, how fortunate that if a terrible thing had to happen it happened adjacent to the medical tent. so triage was fast. they were transported quickly and boston is fortunate to have some first class medical facilities close in and nearby. correct?

>> yes. that's right. we have worked a lot on drilling these exact kind of events, not just within our level one trauma center here at brigham & women's but city wide. we have done a lot of work getting ready for something we hoped would never happen.

>> sadly, doctor, two aspects of this sounded so familiar to those of us who have been covering combat the past several years, even on a part-time basis. number one, the notion of a primary and then secondary explosion. and number two, the nature of some of these injuries. i understand you have had some full leg amputations and there are shrapnel wounds.

>> we had a lot of injuries, particularly to people's legs as they were closer to the blast site. we also had a fair number of people injured by flying objects. we didn't see evidence that there were objects built into the device. these were random flying objects sent flying by the explosion of the bomb. or bombs.

>> but really, leaving for work this morning on what is a holiday across the city, i am guessing that maybe brigham and women's hospital thought there would be dehydration cases, some after effect of the race. i'm guessing it is the last thing you thought you would have multiple casualties from a single event in that say.

>> certainly hard to see this coming in any way. we fortunately have a medical team we deploy near the finish line anyway just as part of the normal coverage of the event. but we were ready and not ready. we are ready for this because we are ready for this any time. we certainly weren't anticipating the this today.

>> dr. ron walls, chief of emergency services at the great brigham and women's hospital in boston, mass. doctor, thank you for your day-long work on behalf of the folks brought to your doorstep.