Critical Plane Crash Victims Treated at San Francisco Hospital

Critical Plane Crash Victims Treated at San Francisco Hospital

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San Francisco, CA -

(FOX 11) Melissa Pitts is a nurse at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH).  Pitts was on duty when the hospital got news that Asiana flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport.  Pitts says she immediately contacted her manager, "I alerted him that we were getting word of a possible plane crash and we didn't have many details at that time.  But we just got ready for the worst possible situation."

And the worst possible situation is what they got.  The most critical patients from the wreck went to SFGH.

The Chief of Surgery, Dr. Margaret Knudson, explained the types of injuries they're dealing with  "Large amounts of abdominal injuries, a huge amount of spine fractures, some of them which include paralysis." 

Dr. Knudson confirmed two adult patients are paralyzed from the crash, and there may be more.  Doctors don't  how serious some of the patients spinal injuries are, because some are still unconscious.  The impact of the plane hitting the ground and whiplash likely caused the spinal injuries.

Passengers also suffered severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding, likely caused from the seat belts, but Dr. Knudson says those same seat belts probably saved the passenger's lives.

"We also saw some patients that had severe road rash, as suggesting that they were dragged," said Dr. Knudson.

A total of 182 patients were taken to 11 different San Francisco area hospitals.  Of the 53 patients taken to SFGH, 17 remain in the hospital 10 adults and 7 minors.  Six patients at SFGH are still critical, one of those is a child.   

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