Published April 22, 2013
A Boston police officer involved in the manhunt for the Boston marathon bombing suspects was shot and wounded so badly that his heart stopped for 45 minutes, and he lost his entire blood supply, the Los Angeles Times reported. Fortunately, he was fully resuscitated and transfused with entirely new blood, and doctors said Sunday that he is coming out of sedation and expected to recover.
Richard “Dick” Donohue Jr., a 33-year-old police officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, responded to a call Friday morning asking for assistance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where officers had reported a shooting. When Donohue got out of his car, he exchanged gunfire with the suspects before a bullet hit his right thigh – severing his femoral vein and artery.
Donohue then began to bleed out, and his pulse was lost for more than 45 minutes.
“CPR was started in the field, and he required a prolonged resuscitation that started at the scene and at our emergency room,” Dr. David Miller, a critical care doctor at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, said during a hospital briefing.
As Donohue bled, doctors were able to replenish him with units of donor blood simultaneously – allowing for a nearly equal exchange of blood. Miller said doctors were eventually able to stop the bleeding and save the officer’s right leg. By the time the bleeding had stopped, Donohue had lost his entire blood supply and had been transfused with entirely new blood.
Donohue remained in the hospital’s ICU Sunday in stable but critical condition. Currently, he cannot speak but he is able to wiggle his toes and squeeze fingers, the Los Angeles Times said.
Doctors remain “cautiously optimistic” that Donohue will fully recover.
Donohue’s younger brother Edward Donohue, a patrolman with the Winchester, Mass., police department, said he has been waiting by his brother’s bedside with the rest of his family – including Richard’s wife, Kim, and their 6-month-old son, Richie.
“As a brother, fellow officer and American, I cannot describe the pride I felt in what Dick and other officers did that Friday morning,” Edward said during the hospital briefing.