We made a serious error in the October 2017 issue of WestView News, which warrants several comments. In “Jim Fouratt’s Have You Heard?” article, he stated: “While St. Vincent’s Hospital was on high alert that day, not one injured person was brought to the hospital during the 9/11 disaster.” This statement was incorrect.
After publication, I received two calls from medical professionals who contradicted Jim Fouratt’s words. Coincidentally, I also received in the mail an article published in the May 2002 issue of The Bulletin, from the American College of Surgeons. This article was written by four medical professionals: James Feeney, MD; Nayana Parekh, MD; Jesse Blumenthal MD; and Marc K. Wallack, MD. Cited by Blumenthal below, this article provides statistics regarding the number of patients seen at St. Vincent’s Hospital on September 11, 2001.
In addition to the calls and letters I received on this error, I also obtained the following commentary from David Kaufman, MD:
In addition to the patients seen, triaged, admitted, etc. at St. Vincent’s Hospital, there was an additional service that our staff provided at the New School. Using their space, we had perhaps 20 physicians, registered nurses, social workers, etc. helping families and friends cope with the attack, the losses, the search for missing loved ones, etc. I personally spent about 36 hours there along with many of my colleagues, except for the time I was in the St. Vincent’s Hospital Incident Command Center helping to coordinate other services.
It is terrifying to imagine how another mass casualty event would be managed with the dramatic loss of hospitals, emergency rooms, etc.
I was shocked to read the following statement in the October 2017 issue of WestView News (within “Jim Fouratt’s Have you Heard?” on page 8): “While St. Vincent’s Hospital was on high alert that day, not one injured person was brought to the hospital during the 9/11 disaster.”
Where did Jim Fouratt get his facts? On September 11, 2001, I was an attending surgeon and Chief of the Trauma Service at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Approximately 700 people were treated that day at that hospital.
The role and scope of the care St. Vincent’s delivered that day are documented in a May 2002 article I co-authored in The Bulletin—the official publication of the American College of Surgeons— “September 11, 2001: A test of preparedness and spirit.”
—Jesse Blumenthal, MD
I am writing to point out an obvious error in the October 2017 issue of WestView concerning St. Vincent’s Hospital and the number of patients seen there on September 11, 2001.
Instead of zero, as reported by Jim Fouratt, 797 patients were attended to and 115 were actually admitted. Four of those patients died from their injuries.
I was particularly shocked to find this error since your newspaper has always been supportive of St. Vincent’s Hospital.