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Youngest Boston Marathon survivor improving, docs say

Peter Burke, MD, and Chief of Trauma Services,

Peter Burke, MD, and Chief of Trauma Services, speaks during a press conference at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Mass. The twin bombings after the Boston Marathon resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (April 18, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

BOSTON -- The youngest survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings is getting better after suffering life-threatening injuries in Monday's blasts, doctors say.

"I think he's gonna be OK, and that's great," Boston Medical Center Chief of Trauma Services Dr. Peter Burke said at a news conference Thursday, adding that the unidentified 5-year-old boy is no longer in critical condition.

The boy suffered "significant pulmonary injuries," Burke said. His mother also was hurt.

Burke said bomb victims who remain hospitalized "are getting better, and we are happy with their progress."

Doctors at the hospital said the injuries of those wounded in the blasts were comparable to those suffered by troops in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Over the last few days, there were a fair amount of questions and some interest in how this experience compared to a wartime experience," said Joseph Blansfield, the trauma program manager at the hospital, who also treated battlefield injuries in Iraq. "This was disturbingly similar to our experiences with improvised explosive devices and treating large numbers of traumatized individuals."

Surgeons at the hospital have amputated seven limbs on five patients, officials said.

"These injuries are massive and require multiple trips to the operating room sometimes," Burke said.

Burke said 16 patients remain in the hospital, including 10 in serious condition and five in fair condition. A 60-year-old man remains in critical condition, Burke said.

Some patients have experienced flashbacks of the bombings, hospital officials said.

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