Just one patient remains in critical condition after Boston bombings

BOSTON (WITI) -- At Boston Medical Center, where many of the victims were taken following the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, as days and hours go by, the prognosis gets better for many of those injured. However, many of those seriously injured have had to have multiple surgeries.

"Over the last 48 hours, we've reoperated on 13 of these patients and discharged three to home. At the present time, there are 16 patients remaining in the hospital. Only one is considered critical, 10 are serious, and five are  fair," Peter Burke with Boston Medical Center said.

Five of the 14 victims who had amputations are being treated at the Boston Medical Center. For them, after the operations comes the emotional journey. Doctors say each will respond differently to the fear, frustration and physical pain.

"People can make an incredible recovery from this and they can have a normal productive life and that`s how I look at it. I think it`s not unreasonable to be half-full about this and not half-empty," Burke said.

Another concern for doctors is how the explosion may have damaged ears. The high-energy shockwaves can destroy nerve cells and damage the delicate eardrum. Some from the Boylston Street blasts have already been treated for hearing problems, but hundreds more may have damage they don't know about, including partial hearing loss that may eventually heal itself or last a lifetime.

A combat nurse who served in Iraq says as with the gruesome amputations, the hearing loss and other blast injuries -- we are at least now better equipped to treat them based on what we've learned.

"This was disturbingly similar to our experiences with improvise explosive devices and treating large number of traumatized individuals, but the silver lining was the lessons learned that we obtained in our experiences in Iraq really paid great dividends on Monday and continue to pay great dividends. I think the small number of lives lost is evidence to that," the nurse said.

Numerous patients have had metal bomb fragments embedded in their bodies. Those fragments are evidence, and they've been collected and forwarded to the FBI for their investigation.