Dr. Nicholas Namias, medical director of Ryder Trauma Center, spoke about special procedures Jackson Memorial Hospital has in place to deal with patients from religious groups. The hospital treated about a dozen patients after a bus carrying a Jehovah's Witness congregation slammed into an overpass at Miami International Airport.
Two of the passengers who were injured in the deadly bus crash at Miami International Airport remained in critical condition Tuesday while seven other patients have been discharged, hospital officials said.
Another three people are in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital, officials said at a press conference Tuesday morning. None of the victims were identified and no specific details about their injuries were disclosed.
Two people were killed after the chartered bus, which was carrying 32 members of a Jehovah's Witness congregation from Miami to West Palm Beach, slammed into an overpass at the airport Saturday.
Police say driver Ramon Ferriero drove the bus through an 8-foot-6-inch overpass, killing 86-year-old Serafin Castillo. Another church member, 56-year-old Francisco Urana, died at the hospital.
Ferriero, who police said was lost, hasn't been charged or cited in the crash.
Doctors at JMH said the hospital has procedures in place to deal with any religious group, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, that does not take blood transfusions.
"That's a major problem in trauma care," said Dr. Nicholas Namias, medical director of Ryder Trauma Center and chief of the Division of Trauma at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
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"If the patient is an adult and states that wish, we will take care of them without blood transfusions to whatever extent that they desire," he said.
Although the patients suffered major injuries, Namias said they have requested privacy and he declined to say if any or all of the patients made that request. If they did, he clarified, doctors would be able to accommodate that wish.
"The alternatives are understanding and accepting that you can allow people's blood count to drop to levels that we used to think were dangerously low," he explained. "And we have learned how to manage people with lower blood levels. We have also learned how to reduce their demands for oxygen because the blood carries oxygen and we can actually take people and sedate them and depress their metabolism to slow them down so much that they demand less and less until they can reform their own blood."