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San Francisco hospital working to reunite families after plane crash

July 10, 2013|By Anna Gorman

As San Francisco General Hospital doctors and nurses continued to treat plane crash victims Wednesday, administrators were working to reunite families.

Some of the young patients were here without their parents, who were flying in from Korea and China, Chief Executive Sue Currin said.

"They need their families," she said.

The hospital also was transferring relatives from other hospitals to San Francisco General so families could be together.  

The hospital treated 62 patients with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal bleeding, fractures and road rash.

About a dozen remained at the medical center Tuesday, but Currin said she expected more patients to come in for treatment of minor injuries and for mental health services in the days to come. Once the adrenaline wears off, patients realize they may have missed minor injuries or even fractures, she said.

Hospital administrators said they also scheduled “supportive de-briefing” sessions for the staff Wednesday.

"This can be really traumatic and tough for folks,” said Troy Williams, director of risk management for the county hospital. "We need to make sure we are taking care of each other as well."

During a meeting for managers Tuesday, administrators described what they called a heroic response to the Asiana crash Saturday at San Francisco International Airport.

Doctors, nurses, radiologists, janitors and interpreters came in spontaneously or worked extra hours. The cafeteria stayed open throughout Saturday night. The pediatric clinic treated adults.

Staff transferred lower-level patients to other hospitals to make room for the crash victims. Materials workers hustled to get additional medical supplies.

"There was not one person who said no to anything that was asked of them," Currin said.

Todd May, chief medical officer, said the hospital did what was needed to take care of the patients.

"This was a defining moment for this institution," he said. "We don't always work together seamlessly as teams, but this demonstrated that we can."


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