At Boston Medical Center, which treated 23 patients, heavily armed SWAT-team officers arrived and held the perimeter for about 15 minutes around 5:30 p.m., before fanning out to check inside the hospital. Three officials wearing FBI jackets and eight wearing jackets from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were also seen at the facility.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, which received 29 patients, including at least four who lost limbs, Dr. Peter J. Fagenholz said, “We had three in the first five or 10 minutes. . . . I’ve never seen this volume come this quickly.”
About five years ago, administrators said, they realized they needed to upgrade disaster-response training. “We obviously have a limited experience with explosions in an urban area,” said Dr. Alasdair Conn, Mass. General’s chief of emergency services.
“The Israelis, unfortunately, have this several times a year, and we asked their disaster-response teams to come and help us upgrade our disaster response,” Conn said. “And I’m very pleased that we went through that orientation and additional training.”
Boston Children’s Hospital treated eight patients: seven children — ranging in age from a 2-year-old with a head injury to a 12-year-old with a broken leg — and one child’s parent.
Brian Ballou, Matt Carroll, and Chelsea Conaboy of the Globe staff, and correspondents Jeremy C. Fox and Zachary T. Sampson contributed to this report. Kay Lazar can be reached at email@example.com.