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Medical News & Perspectives
August 7, 2013

Disaster Training, Capacity for Quality Trauma Care Key to Aiding Injured in Asiana Airlines Crash

JAMA. 2013;310(5):467. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.171328

Images of the charred and broken Asiana Airlines jet that crashed on July 6 at San Francisco International Airport make it difficult to believe that nearly all of the passengers and crew survived. One important factor, say those involved in responding to the crash, was the planning and training that enable first responders to act quickly and skillfully during any event involving mass casualties.

“So far, we are seeing that the triage and transport system was very effective,” said Clement Yeh, MD, medical director of the San Francisco Fire Department. Firefighters, paramedics, and police were at the scene within minutes of the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. “The first responders rapidly began triage operations using established plans and protocols, and passengers who were not immediately evacuated were re-triaged multiple times to identify people who deteriorated or who were missed in the initial evaluation,” he said.