Within minutes of the two explosions on Boylston Street, scores of victims in the attack at the Boston Marathon finish line were rushed the city's hospital emergency rooms with injuries more often seen in a war zone.
Was the person who planted these bombs one of the patients flooding the emergency rooms? SWAT teams armed with automatic weapons flanked hospital entrances. Across the city, everyone was on high alert.
Leana Wen, MD, an emergency physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, described that day on NPR. Two weeks later, those terrified moments still haunt her. "Life seems back to normal — except it's not… At work, I feel numb to my patients' suffering. At home, I break down and cry."
She isn't alone.
During an emotionally and physically exhausting week, three marathon spectators were killed, and hundreds were grievously injured. Hospital leaders give credit to their focused staff who carried out their professional duties while balancing their personal reactions to the bombing.