Yesterday the world watched as bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. So far three have died, and over 140 people were injured. Despite the sadness and fear that everyone feels during these moments of terror, we can also draw comfort from the wave of support in the immediate aftermath of these events.
In the initial moments of panic, while many civilians fled, medical staff immediately flocked to treat and stabilize the injured, with the help of many brave volunteers who chose not to run away in order to help.
Explosions like what we saw yesterday are usually reserved for areas of war, and it is amazing to see how well the medical professionals and volunteers alike immediately adapted and offered versatile care to those in need including giving oxygen, tourniqueting limbs, and moving victims to hospitals as quickly as possible.
As Forbes points out, most of the external damage was to lower limbs, which has already resulted in more than twenty traumatic amputations, and there will likely be more as operations are undergone to remove shrapnel. Luckily for these victims, the hospitals treating those hurt are among the best in the country, and the world.
All of these victims, and everyone else in close vicinity to the blast, are at a great risk to have suffered traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Even those who were deemed healthy during the immediate aftermath are likely to come down with headaches, flashbacks, vivid dreams, anxiety, depression, and possibly even cognitive impairment.
Even those who did not fall are at risk due to the wave of pressure that comes off of explosions and can damage the brain just as a fall or collision would. If you or anyone you know was in the vicinity of these devastating explosions, and they come down with any symptoms described above please take them to see a medical professional. Traumatic brain injury may be invisible, but it is far from silent and those symptoms are a warning sign of possibly serious damage.
Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the blast. There are no words to describe what we feel as we watch innocent people being hurt en masse in American streets, but we can only hope to unite and heal from this. We also applaud everyone who pitched in and helped in the immediate aftermath, from helping give out water to offering strangers a place a safe place with food and beds, the kind acts of these Bostonians should absolutely be recognized.