The bombings at the Boston Marathon are another example of senseless violence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected and their families. My wife’s brother crossed the finish line about a minute and a half before the first explosion. We are particularly grateful that he was not injured. But we know that others were not as lucky.
I was the Chief Medical Officer at Boston Medical Center on September 11, 2001. BMC is the largest trauma center in New England. On that horrible day, we stood ready to aid overflow victims from New York City….but none came. I remember reflecting that week that we were in a large brotherhood and sisterhood of care providers and even though we didn’t know many people in the New York City hospitals, we felt their pain and stress and wished that there was more that we could do to help.
Today, I feel the same solidarity with my colleagues in Boston. We at GBMC and at other hospitals in Baltimore stand united with the Boston Medical Center team and with the other Boston area hospitals.
We feel their pain and we unite in spirit to alleviate suffering and bring a ray of hope in the aftermath of a horrible event.
The news about an innocent 8-year-old boy being one of those who tragically lost his life while waiting to greet his father after he finished the race is especially devastating. As a father and a pediatrician, I am sure many parents, in addition to trying to process this senseless tragedy themselves, may also be wondering what resources are available to help them discuss this with their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a detailed tip sheet “Talking to Children About Disasters” and Claire McCarthy, M.D., a pediatrician and Medical Communications Editor at Boston Children's Hospital, assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior editor for Harvard Health Publications, provides some excellent suggestions in her column, "After the Boston Marathon explosions, what parents should do first."