The Greek Doctor who Saved the Boston Bomb Victims

velmahosAs the FBI tries to find out who set off the two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three and injuring 170, one of the saviors who’s emerged from the horror is a Greek doctor who heads the trauma unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the world’s finest.

Dr. George Velmahos, 51, was a spokesman for the hospital to the media and described in cool analytical terms but with obvious compassion for the victims what he and and his staff did to save them, although some had to undergo amputations.

He described to Greek Mega Channel how the fragments and shrapnel wounds were so severe in some cases that people’s limbs couldn’t be saved.

Velmahos was born and raised in Athens. He graduated from the Medical School of Athens, completing his medical specialty in surgery in 1991. After completing this cycle, he decided to leave Greece and move to the USA looking for more opportunities, saying he was disenchanted with how Greece limits professionals.

Before leaving for Boston, he had worked at the Hippocrates Hospital and the General Hospital of Kalamata. He received his training in trauma medicine at the Baragwanath Hospitalin South Africa, the largest trauma center in the world. He then practiced trauma medicine for 10 years at the Los Angeles County Hospital (one of the largest trauma centers in the US) and was Associate Professor at the University of Southern California. He is now a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School as well as heading MGH’s trauma unit.

Velmahos has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and 25 books/book chapters, nearly all of them on trauma and resuscitation issues. With a newly recruited team, he is building the Center for Early Trauma Research, which will focus on innovative methods to manage trauma patients in the pre-hospital and early in-hospital post-traumatic phases.