Training to work, derailment detours YNHH surgical resident

Dr. Solomon is shown in the Emergency Department where he worked a 12-hour shift after helping stabilize patients at the scene of the recent MetroNorth train crash.
Dr. Solomon is shown in the Emergency Department where he worked a 12-hour shift after helping stabilize patients at the scene of the recent MetroNorth train crash.

On Friday, May 17, YNHH surgical resident Daniel Solomon of Westport commuted to his evening shift on the trauma service at Yale-New Haven Hospital aboard a MetroNorth train.

As it approached the Bridgeport station, Dr. Solomon recalls, "Our car jerked suddenly and felt like it was switching tracks. When we came to a sudden stop and smoke began billowing from the head cars, it was obvious something was very wrong. I quickly found out how wrong."

Years of training and experience on the trauma service kicked in immediately and Dr. Solomon began to assess and triage those hurt in the derailment even before EMTs and paramedics arrived on site.

Some passengers were severely injured and bleeding, others had compound fractures and were in shock, many were cut and bruised. Dr. Solomon quickly enlisted the help of fellow passengers — most of whom had no medical background — to assist.

"We were able to stabilize and maintain the injured until help arrived," recalls Dr. Solomon. "I just moved from person to person and assessed and treated them. I was able to reassure those in pain that they would be OK. I did what any other person with my training would have done in the same situation."