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SF General Chief Surgeon Describes Crash Injuries; 2 Patients Paralyzed

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Dr. Margaret Knudsen

Dr. Margaret Knudsen, chief of surgery at S.F. General, spoke to reporters Sunday. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A chief surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital said Sunday that the injuries suffered by passengers of downed Asiana Airlines Flight 214 ranged from minor cuts and bruises to major head trauma and paralysis.

SF General accepted 53 patients after Flight 214 crash while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, including 27 adults and 26 children, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, 19 people remained hospitalized, Kagan said. The vicitms’ conditions ranged from good to fair to critical, Kagan said.

Continuing Coverage of Asiana Flight 214 | Listen LIVE: KCBS Coverage | Photo Gallery: Plane Crash at SFO

Six of the 19 still hospitalized — including one child — remained in critical condition, Kagan said.

The most serious injuries were severe head trauma, spinal fractures that included paralysis, and abdominal injuries that caused internal bleeding, chief of surgery Dr. Margaret Knudsen said this morning at a press conference.

“The most critical injuries are head trauma and internal bleeding,” she said.

Other injuries included broken bones and severe “road rash,” as if the patients had been “dragged,” Knudsen said.

She said that the majority of the patients who were able to speak to hospital staff were sitting in the rear of the airplane, which suffered significant damage to its tail.

“Everybody who has been able to give us information was sitting in the back of the plane,” Knudsen said.

The hospital employed four trauma teams and five surgery rooms to treat the influx of patients, some of whom had already been treated by emergency responders at the airport, Knudsen said.

“Whoever triaged these patients at the airport did a fabulous job,” she said.

Approximately 55 patients were taken to Stanford Hospital, where 11 were admitted.

As of Sunday morning, two were reported to be in critical condition and nine others were in fair or good condition, spokesman James Larkin said.

Another seven patients were admitted to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and all were listed in good condition, he said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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