On Monday, what can only be described as crude bombs were used to send shrapnel into the crowds of onlookers at the Boston Marathon. Some 176 were injured, and three have died from these attacks. The youngest victim was 8 year old Martin Richard, who was enjoying ice cream with his parents and sister.
Martin’s sister, 6, lost a leg from the attack, and his mother had to have brain surgery as a result of injuries from the blast. Their injuries are typical of many that are being seen as several have lost limbs, lost blood and suffered extremely severe injuries from the blasts.
The doctors who have been treating the injured have been pulling shrapnel from wounds, and they have stated that some victims have as many as 40 pieces of deadly metal objects in their bodies. The shrapnel included nails, pellets, and other sharp metal objects.
According to Fox News, at least one of the bombs was made up of pressure cookers that were attached to a board, and enclosed in back packs that contained the shrapnel. The bag was then dropped into a garbage can. This type of bomb was first found in Afghanistan, and they were also found in the failed Times Square bombing of 2010.
At this time, authorities are being very quiet about any people of interest, and they are not indicating the identity of potential suspects.
Despite the simplicity of the design, many are concerned that random bombings of this kind may be the new “norm” in the United States. Retired FBI agent Jeff Lanza said that these bombings are extremely similar to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic pipe bombings. In that attack, pipe bombs filled with shrapnel killed two and injured 111 people.
First aid tents at the finish line were turned into trauma triages as staff jumped to action in a matter of just a few seconds, to help the injured. Many worked to stop bleeding and get victims away from the site of the blast so they could receive medical attention as quickly as possible.
Finding the culprit for this blast is a priority, but helping survivors is another serious issue. According to Dr. Manny Alvarez, recovering from the loss of a limb can be extremely traumatic, but advances in medical technology and the right support can help people to go on to live productive, happy lives.
Many are warning of the potential for long lasting effects from this attack, including cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
While the American Red Cross currently has enough blood for the Boston Marathon terror attack victims, this is the best thing that people that want to help can do. Blood can save lives, so having enough on hand in the case of an emergency can be one of the most valuable resources available.
For those in the Boston area that want to give blood, more information can be found here.