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On the Scene: Medical Community Tensely Awaits the Wounded

As hospitals are still receiving victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center, with more survivors being rescued from the debris this morning, Emily Senay is at Bellevue Hospital in New York with more.

Emily, good morning.Good morning. We still see the occasional ambulance go by. We are aware of one victim, a Port Authority police officer, who has been hospitalized here. In the meantime, family members, many family members, walk around handing out photocopies of photographs of relatives and loved ones that they are looking for. The doctors and nurses here assure us they have ample staff, ample supplies, ample blood on hand to handle whatever comes their way. However, in the few moments and hours after the attack yesterday morning, it was a different story.

It was a chaotic scene in New York as rescue workers delivered the wounded to area hospitals. For the victims, it was a nightmare. "I was screaming because I didn't know what the hell was going on. And all the debris, concrete and everything, fell on top," said Marlene Cruise. One man was quoted as saying that there were a lot of penetrating wounds, initially, with penetrating chest wounds and penetrating injuries through the legs.

But amidst the carnage, the medical community of New York was well prepared. The extra staff on duty didn't even want to go home last night.

Doctors at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan treated more than 300 serious injuries, many of them people who escaped the towers shortly before they collapsed. After the towers fell, doctors began to see more emergency workers who went in to help those trapped in the towers.

In the nation's capital, victims of the Pentagon air crash were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Virginia. In New York, the casualties reported so far seem to be injuries, but while fears are growing about the final death toll, no one is giving up the search.

It may be several weeks before we know the number of fatalities from this attack and why we are not seeing casualties so far being brought here as we await the rescue efforts now to get those people out of the rubble.

Well, Emily, hospitals were expecting their heaviest wave of casualties this morning. So you're saying that has not happened yet?Not here at Bellevue. We have only seen the occasional ambulance and we know of one patient who was admitted who was reported to us in a press conference a short time ago, but we have not seen large numbers of casualties so far.

Is there an extraordinary need for blood this morning?At this hospital they are saying that they have double the supply that they need so far and they would like to schedule people for appointments to donate. There are blood drives around the rest of the country to shore up any needed blood as this tragedy unfolds and we see exactly where we stand as far as casualties.
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