SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Right inside the ambulance bay at San Francisco General Hospital is Zone 1 of the Emergency Room. This is where all the gunshot, stabbing and high-speed car crash victims end up.
In July, when Asiana Flight 214 crashed at SFO International Airport, over 60 victims were treated at the hospital’s trauma center. It’s one of the city’s 11 emergency rooms and is the main trauma center.
New Year’s Eve tends to be one of the busiest days of the year and the number of trauma cases could triple. KCBS reporter Holly Quan spent a night with the doctors and nurses at SF General for a special report.
At 7 p.m. on a Friday night, Charge Nurse Shino Honda already has more patients than beds.
“I think right now we have close to 50 patients. This is a 27-bed E.R. We are already at capacity with twice more than we can handle and we’re doing it. All my nurses are working really hard,” she said.
The Emergency Room sees patients with high-risk pregnancies, broken bones, and illness, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We have patients with pretty bad pneumonia that have to be intubated because it’s hard for them to breathe. And then we had a patient who fell [with] head trauma. And then there was that unusual diagnosis of a fishbone in the throat.”
Honda explains how their facility is equipped to do a scope to see where the fishbone is.