Hospitals face airline crash with preparedness, interpreter services

Stanford University Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital put their long-rehearsed "organized dance" into action on July 6 after an Asiana Airlines Flight 214 carrying 307 passengers crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport, Mountain View (Calif.) Voice reported.

"We have a very systematic, orchestrated way of evaluating patients, finding the most life-threatening injuries first and moving down the priority list," David Spain, chief of trauma and surgical critical care at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital & Clinics told the newspaper.

The disaster response plan involved about 150 staff members, not to mention translators, social workers and chaplains, to help care for the 55 injured passengers treated at the two Stanford University hospitals.

And since passengers had not cleared customs on the international flight from Seoul, the hospitals also housed government agencies and officials from the Chinese Consulate to deal with immigration matters.

The Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco that left two people dead and more than 180 injured, according to CBS SF,  is among recent disasters, such as the Boston Marathon bombing in April and the tornado in Oklahoma in May that tested hospital disaster preparedness.

With 141 passengers carrying Chinese passports, 77 South Korean passports and 61 U.S. passports and the rest of other nationalities, the hospitals' disaster response plans relied heavily on interpreter services, the Mountain View Voice noted.

The Salvation Army also provided translation services in Korean, Cantonese and Mandarin to help passengers communicate with physicians and offer emotional support to the patients, CBS SF reported.

To learn more:
- read the Mountain View Voice article
- here's the CBS SF article