Hawaii's sole burn unit records highest-ever patient influx

After one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history hit Maui in early August, healthcare workers at Hawaii's only burn unit were tasked with treating its highest-ever patient influx from one incident, according to The New York Times

Nine patients were airlifted and driven to Straub Medical Center in Honolulu because some patients in Maui, which is two islands away, needed more intensive burn care. 

Kimberly Webster, RN, the manager of the hospital's burn unit, told the Times she was closely tracking the weather reports in the days leading up to the wildfire, but no proactive steps to add staff or clear rooms were taken.

"You're alert and you're aware of that, but you don't start moving people when you don't need to," she said.

Employees of Straub's burn unit worked long days to provide care for the patients — some of whom had second- and third-degree burns covering 70 percent of their bodies, according to the Times

As of Aug. 17, the wildfire has killed 111 Hawaii residents, according to the latest update from Hawaii Gov. Josh Green.

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