If you attended Health Journalism 2013, you heard from plenty of Boston-based medical professionals, some of whom are in the news now talking about the Boston Marathon bombings. You might remember hearing from:
Ron Medzon, M.D., led AHCJ members through the SIM lab part of one of the field trips and talked with attendees about doctors and nurses communicating with patients and families about medical errors. Medzon, emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center, was on duty when victims of the bombing began arriving. He talked about the experience with Robin Young of WBUR-Boston.
Paul Summergrad, M.D., chair of psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center, spoke about mental disorders at the conference, offers advice on how to care for the emotional wounds of the bombing in several articles:
- Coping with the marathon bombing: expect fear, anxiety, and anger, psychologists say, Deborah Kotz, The Boston Globe
- Boston doctors ‘finish the job’ of traumatic amputations, G. Jeffrey Macdonald, Karen Weintraub, Stephanie Haven and Gary Strauss, USA Today
- Boston hospitals well prepared for blast casualties, Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times
And John Halamka, M.D., the chief information officer at, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, talked about communication and technology in the wake of the bombings in “Social media key in enabling quick provider response to Boston bombings,” by Dan Bowman for FieceHealthIT. At the conference, he spoke about electronic health records.
Have you seen other panel speakers quoted in the news? If so, please let us know by posting links to the stories in the comments section.
Update: AHCJ member Naseem S. Miller, of Internal Medicine News Digital Network, interviewed Medzon and a doctor who was in the medical tent at the finish line about their experiences.
Update: AHCJ member Leana Wen writes on NPR’s Shots blog about treating patients in the aftermath of the bombing while wondering if the next patient she saw was going to be her husband.
I haven’t seen his name mentioned in coverage of the Marathon explosion, however Ross D. Zafonte, who is an expert in the area of Traumatic Brain Injury, was a speaker for the ‘Veteran’s Health Stories: Prosthetics, Stress and Caregiving’ panel.
Zafonte, who chairs the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and is chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, described the effects of IEDs on victims. He specifically described the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres where military personnel sometimes experience multiple concussions as the result of IEDs.
He stated that the survival rate may be near 95% if treated quickly, nevertheless those exposed face severe head and limb trauma. According to Zapfonte, the blast alone moves through a person at Mach speeds. We’re talking severe concussion force here.
This may explain reports that some of the victims who were near the blast, but thought they were okay, experienced symptoms later and had to go to the hospital. Zafonte described an environment where military personnel have gone through 50 to 100 repetitive blasts leading to cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical problems. Not to mention those who must use Prosthetics because of loss of limbs.
I have written three articles related to the Boston Bombing which my be of interest to the group. They may be found on my web under blogs. Jim