JMH doctors credit staffing with saving lives after fatal bus crash

2 killed in bus crash at Miami International Airport

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter
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MIAMI - Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital say increased staffing at the Ryder Trauma Center helped saved lives following a bus crash at Miami International Airport on Saturday.

Dr. Nicholas Namias and a team of surgeons treated 13 passengers who were injured when the driver of a private bus failed to clear an overpass at the airport.

Two passengers who were sitting in the front of the bus were killed.

"We had at one point in the trauma three surgeons, one anesthesiologist, five trauma nurses," said Namias. "You add that up and that's what was there for them."

The bus crash was considered a mass casualty event for the trauma center. 

"Even in what can be considered an overwhelming tragic accident, the facilities at Ryder were easily able to handle this and at the same time taking care of the usual. We were taking care of two other trauma patients at the same time," added Namias.

Doctors citing privacy concerns would not say what injuries the passengers suffered.

They did, however, say a system was in place for patients who refused a blood transfusion on religious grounds. The injured passengers are Jehovah's Witnesses and as practice do not accept blood transfusions.

"We can actually take people and sedate them and depress their metabolism to slow them down so much so that they demand less and less until they can reform their own blood. We are 100 percent respectful of the patients wishes," said Namias.

Four passengers remain in stable condition and one other is in critical condition.

No charges have been filed against the driver, who police say was lost when he drove into an overpass in the arrivals terminal. Investigators are trying to determine why he did not see the signs that warned him over the height of the overpass.

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