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CommonHealth: Lessons From The Battlefield Saves Marathon Victims

A family pauses to look at the boarded-up windows at the scene of the first bomb that exploded on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon, Saturday, April 27, 2013, Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

A family pauses to look at the boarded-up windows at the scene of the first bomb that exploded on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon, Saturday, April 27, 2013, Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

What happens if the three biggest arteries in the leg are unexpectedly severed? Usually, the blood loss is so quick and severe that it can lead to death. And yet, that’s exactly what happened to transit officer Richard Donohue when a bullet tore through his thigh in the Watertown shootout between police and the Marathon Bombing suspects. But Richard Donohue is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to lessons from combat hospitals in tourniquet application and blood transfusion.

Guests

Joseph Blansfield,  trauma program manager at Boston Medical Center and former chief nurse at a combat hospital in Iraq.

Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog.

More

WBUR, “When they say someone has lost all their blood, it doesn’t mean you lost all your blood at the scene. You got injured, you lost a lot of blood, they got you to the hospital and they began replacing your blood, but you continued to bleed. So you’ve lost five liters of blood, that’s your total blood volume, but you didn’t lose five liters on the sidewalk — you would have died.”

 


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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer is co-hosting Radio Boston while Meghna Chakrabarti is on maternity leave.

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