As the tragedy in San Bruno unfolded last night, staff from the award-winning VMC Burn Unit went on high alert.
“Just about everyone not scheduled to work called me to say they could come in,” said Jill Sproul, R.N., Nurse Manager for the VMC Burn Center. “Everyone was ready.”
Fortunately for the victims, hospitals closer to the fire in San Mateo County were able to handle the patient load, at least for now.
Residents of Santa Clara County, however, should take comfort at the level of readiness maintained by the VMC burn team. As one of 2 Burn Trauma Centers in California north of Los Angeles, VMC provides burn victims with the highest level of care, with a specially trained team of doctors and nurses uniquely experienced to treat burn related emergencies.
Burn Trauma Centers are increasingly rare in the United States. Highly trained staff are hard to find, and operational costs can be prohibitive. But the need for this care is still acute, evidenced by the fire in San Bruno last night.
VMC staff remains at the ready, and have reached out to impacted hospitals in San Mateo County offering support. It is highly likely that, in the coming weeks, burn patients from that region will be diverted to VMC, as those hospitals cope with the aftermath of the San Bruno disaster.
Just as always, VMC will be ready.