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Airplane Crash in Guam, August 6, 1997: The Aeromedical Evacuation Response

Cancio, Leopoldo C. MD, Colonel, U.S. Army

doi: 10.1097/01.BCR.0000238097.10219.66
Burn Centers & Disaster Response

A civilian airplane crash on the island of Guam in 1997 produced 16 burned survivors. The U.S. Army Burn Flight Team and U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Teams conducted a joint aeromedical mission in response to this disaster. This experience was reviewed from the Burn Flight Team perspective. A record of events was made during the mission, and an after-action review was conducted after the mission. Twelve patients were transported to Korea, and four critically ill patients were transported to the U.S. Army Burn Center in San Antonio, TX. The latter mission required 21 hours of in-flight critical care and was completed 4 days and 3 hours after the crash. After-action review resulted in changes in communications procedures, administrative oversight, supplies and equipment, composition of the Burn Flight Team, and readiness and training. These peacetime lessons contributed to the military’s ability to transport wartime burn casualties in ensuing years and indicate the close interdependence of the disaster response and combat missions.

From the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Fort Sam Houston, Antonio, Texas.

The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author, and are not to be construed as official or as the views of the Department of the Army or Department of Defense.

Address correspondence to Leopoldo C. Cancio, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Fort Sam Houston, Antonio, Texas 78234-6315.

© 2006 The American Burn Association