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The Medical Response to the Asiana Flight 214 Plane Crash at SFO

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Asiana Flight 214 crashed on final approach to San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013. Of the 307 people aboard, two passengers died at the crash scene, a third died in a hospital several days later, 181 others were injured, 12 of them critically. Photo courtesy of NTSB

Panel presentation on Saturday, January 11

By Theresa Poulos
Staff Writer

With the coming of a new year, it is natural to hope for the best, fear the worst and work on resolutions for improvement.  While we wish for peace, health and prosperity, it behooves our health care system to be ready for disaster, in whatever form it may take.

UCSF’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group is holding a daylong UCSF NorCal Emergency Medicine Symposium this Saturday, January 11, on the topic of Urban Disaster Medicine, with attendees and presenters hailing from across the state.

The keynote presentation, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Cole Hall on Parnassus, is free to the entire UCSF community and will feature UCSF faculty and residents who cared for the victims of the Asiana Flight 214 plane crash at SFO last summer.

The three-part presentation will cover the three main phases of disaster response, beginning in the field with Emergency Medical Services (EMS), then to the San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) Emergency Department, and finally to the operating room (OR) and intensive care unit (ICU) through to discharge.

Dr. John Brown, Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at SFGH and Medical Director of the San Francisco Emergency Medical Services Agency since 1996, will moderate a panel of presenters, as the audience follows patients through their health care journey immediately following the crash.

The SFGH Emergency Department response will be handled by the two Emergency Medicine senior residents that day, Dr. Brian Resler and Dr. Scott Fischette. They will discuss their reaction to the call advising them to prepare for a massive influx of patients in an already busy emergency room.

What triage techniques helped them make most efficient use of supplies and space? What went well and what could have been done better? How could UCSF’s student learners be of best use during times of disaster response? They will address these questions and more in their section of the keynote presentation.

The final phase of OR and ICU care will be covered by UCSF faculty members and surgical residents, including Dr. Andre Campbell, UCSF Professor of Surgery with specialization in Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical Care; Dr. Jens Krombach, SFGH Clinical Director of Anesthesia and Medical Director of Perioperative Services at SFGH and UCSF; and Dr. Bian Wu and Dr. Shyam Rhaghavan, surgical residents in the OR and ICU on the day of and the days following the crash. These presenters will be able to share insight into the types of complications they faced with patients whose injuries were of the highest acuity. They will be able to discuss both the immediate traumatic emergencies, as well as the barriers to discharge and long-term complications their patients faced.

With representatives from so many facets of the health care continuum, the hope is to have a real conversation about what went well and what can be improved upon should the city of San Francisco face another urban disaster.

Communication, triage strategy, utilization of resources, crowd control – this presentation will be a forum to address the many difficult questions that arise during times of disaster. The presentation will end with an open Q&A session, inviting all attendees to engage in conversation with the presenters. The UCSF Emergency Medicine Interest Group invites the entire UCSF community to be part of this discussion.

The Medical Response to the Asiana Flight 214 Plane Crash at SFO

Saturday, January 11, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Cole Hall, Parnassus Campus
Light refreshments will be served.

Theresa Poulos is a third-year medical student.

 

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