Mass. General surgeon: Amputees happy to be alive after marathon blasts

BOSTON - APRIL 16: Dr. Alasdair Conn, left, and Dr. George Velmahos of MGH briefed the press on the status of patients from yesterday's blast, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON – APRIL 16: Dr. Alasdair Conn, left, and Dr. George Velmahos of MGH briefed the press on the status of patients from yesterday’s blast, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

As post-surgical patients awoke in Massachusetts General Hospital today, many told their doctors they are thankful to be alive following Monday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line.

“Some woke up today and told me they are happy to be alive,” said Dr. George Velmahos, chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Mass. General. “They thought they would die as they saw all the blood spilling out.”

Velmahos gave a graphic description of the nature of some of the injuries caused by two bombs that were reportedly made using presser cookers filled will shrapnel.

He said several patients had “completely destroyed extremities, hanging by shreds of muscle and skin.”

“Most of these patients were in a state of shock and we were rushing to save their lives. They were bleeding profusely.”

Despite their disfigurement, Velmahos said his patients thanked the hospital for their care today.

“It’s a paradox to see patients wake up without an extremity and feel lucky. They feel extremely thankful and lucky.”

Doctors said ten blast victims have now been treated and released from Mass. General and 12 remain.

Velmahos said at this point, he is confident no further lives will be lost.

 

 


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