Safety

L.A. hospitals well-prepared for Metrolink crash

Emergency Management Alert, September 23, 2008

After a Los Angeles Metrolink crash in 2005 left 11 people dead and a car crash in the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica, CA killed 10, officials in Los Angeles County determined they needed to revamp emergency plans. New plans focused on effectively distributing those seriously injured in a major accident among area hospitals.

First indications are that the plan has passed the test. After a September 12 Metrolink crash, that left 135 people injured, trauma surgeons on duty praised the new initiative which made greater use of helicopters to transfer and distribute patients to surrounding hospitals, according to a September 14 article in the Los Angeles Times. The plan allowed medical personnel to send patients to a number of area hospitals, raising the level of care.

In a subsequent article on September 16, area hospital officials agreed that they were prepared to handle worse, even though the crash was the worst mass casualty in the county since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, which sent 138 to the hospital.

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