WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- The injuries suffered by these victims were described as 'horrific' and very much akin to what soldiers experience in a war zone.
Dr. Richard Neville, a vascular surgeon with George Washington Medical Faculty Associates, spoke to 9News' Anita Brikman about the types of injuries these victims are suffering. He also weighs in on possible recovery scenarios for some of the victims:
Anita: Tell me what those doctors in Boston were faced with through the hours of the night last night, assessing can this limb be saved or not?
Dr. Neville: Well as you mentioned, these are much like war time injuries. Usually we deal with diabetics and people with atherosclerosis. That's not what these people were dealing with. The first step is to save the patient's life. Stabilize them. Stop bleeding and save their life. The second thing is to assess the limb to see if it can be saved. So they have to look at the amount of damage and then look at the bones and the artery and the nerves to see if it can be saved.
Anita: Not only were we dealing with a blast here, we were dealing with shrapnel. Bombs made to do the most damage possible. We heard about victims with severe nail injuries, ball bearings deeply imbedded in soft tissue. How do you treat that?
Dr. Neville: That's exactly right. This is something meant to hurt people. What you have to do with these injuries is primarily prevent infection. After you save the limb, these people often times require another operation or antibiotics or other procedures to deal with infection that can occur from these metal objects which are obviously not sterile.
To see the rest of the interview, click on the link above.