Mountain View Voice

News - July 12, 2013

Stanford treating SFO plane crash victims

Stanford Medical Center evaluated 55 patients from the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6 and admitted 18 — 11 to Stanford Hospital and seven to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, according to spokesman James Larkin.

One at Stanford Hospital remained in critical condition as of Tuesday morning, July 9, according to spokesman James Larkin. Four patients remain at Stanford Hospital with one listed in critical but stable condition, one listed in fair condition, and two in good condition, Larkin said.

Two patients were discharged from Stanford Hospital Monday afternoon.

All of the patients admitted to Packard Children's were discharged Sunday evening. They had all been listed in good condition when they were admitted on Saturday, he said.

The vast majority of patients came by ambulance, although some were flown in by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, said Dr. David Spain, director of the hospital's trauma center.

The injuries ranged from internal bleeding to numerous fractures, including several spinal fractures and blunt force injuries, Spain said.

Stanford is one of nine Bay Area hospitals to receive patients from the crash, which killed two and injured 182 others. The two killed were 16-year-old Chinese girls, the airline has confirmed. The San Mateo County Coroner's office is investigating the cause of death, including the possibility that one of the victims was struck and killed by a first responder's vehicle.

The teenagers have been identified as Ye Meng Yuan and Wang Lin Jia, according to a statement from Asiana Airlines. Both were students and Chinese nationals, according to airline officials.

In the statement, Asiana representatives said the company offers its "deepest apologies and condolences."

Dr. Eric Weiss, Stanford's director of emergency medicine, said that the hospital activated its emergency management plan immediately after being notified of the crash and within 30 minutes was able to mobilize more than 150 health care staff including doctors, nurses and other support staff.

In particular, the hospital activated seven trauma teams that included skilled surgeons, Weiss said. Spain noted that while the hospital handled the influx of patients from the crash, patients from other incidents were still being admitted and helped as needed.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, San Francisco General Hospital had received 52 patients from the Asiana Airlines crash as of Saturday evening, a hospital spokeswoman said. The hospital received four waves of patients from the crash, including an initial wave of 10 critical patients, hospital spokeswoman Rachel Kagan said.

Of those initial 10, two were children. Kagan said five of those patients have since been upgraded to serious condition.

Later waves of patients included a wider mix of conditions, including some with minor injuries who were treated and released without hospitalization, Kagan said.

Kagan noted that the hospital had converted a pediatric urgent care center to help deal with the influx of patients. The hospital also set up tents outside and brought in additional staff.

At San Francisco International Airport, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the airport Sunday, sifting through the wreckage of plane.

NTSB officials have recovered the airplane's flight data recorder and cockpit recorder and sent the devices to Washington, D.C., for analysis.

NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said investigators will be trying to evaluate "the human side" of the crash — pilot interaction and performance — as well as conditions at the airport and the airplane itself.

"We're going to be looking at the aircraft and certainly looking at the airport and doing documentation as far as the airport and the environment goes," Hersman said.

Hersman said that it could be up to a week before the actual remains of the aircraft could be removed from SFO's airfield. That runway remains closed.

Many airlines are waiving fees to reschedule travel for customers whose flights were canceled or delayed after the crash.

Hundreds of passengers were diverted to other California airports, including Oakland International Airport and San Jose International Airport.

Meanwhile, many were left stranded. All flights in and out of SFO were canceled in the hours

following the crash.

—Bay City News Service and Palo Alto Weekly staff

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