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  • MossRehab's Dr. Alberto Esquenazi shares his knowledge of amputation with Discovery News & Fox News

    Published: 04/19/2013


    MossRehab's Chief Medical Officer, Alberto Esquenazi is an amputation expert.

    In the wake of the terrible Boston bombings that cost many people their limbs, Dr. Esquenazi shared his knowledge with Discovery News & Fox News about how humans survive amputations and how the mind adjust to lost limbs.

    How People Survive Amputation

    Time is of the essence when it comes to surviving limb amputation.

    When the Boston Marathon turned into a life-or-death situation for so many runners and spectators Monday, several who survived expressed immediate gratitude -- even those who lost limbs in the attack.

    But how does the body survive without an arm or a leg?

    The immediate trauma is physical: According to medical reports, two of Monday’s 10 or so amputees lost their limbs at the site of the bombings. The others underwent surgical amputation at the hospital.

    Loss of blood is the main life-threatening concern, doctors said. Near the finish line, doctors and bystanders wrapped gauze tourniquets around legs.

    "The major risk at that point is that you bleed to death," said Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, chairman of Einstein Healthcare Network's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and chief medical officer for MossRehab Medical Center in Pennsylvania. "If there's nothing to hold the blood, you go into cardio shock, and as a result you die."

    (Read the rest of this article by Sheila Eldred here.)

    How the Mind Adjusts to Lost Limbs

    After an amputation, most patients have a sensation that the limb is still attached and functional. It's known as phantom limb, and it's just one sign that the psychological adjustment to losing a limb can be as challenging as the physical adjustment.

    In addition to phantom limb, those who lost legs in Monday's Boston Marathon attack may face post-traumatic stress disorder and grief as they adjust to a new normal.

    "I always tell my patients that as hard as it is, it's a new reality, and the choices are to go into a dark room and close the door or confront the world in that new reality," said Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, chairman of Einstein Healthcare Network's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and chief medical officer for MossRehab Medical Center in Pennsylvania, who is himself an amputee.

    (Read the rest of this article by Sheila Eldred here.)

    (Read "How the Mind Adjusts to Amputation" by Sheila Eldred on the Fox News site here.)

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