Burn victim in car crash needs overseas care

Cayman Islands health services officials were scrambling on Monday to make off-island medical arrangements for a woman who was critically burned in an early morning car crash along West Bay Road.

The woman suffered burns over 80 percent of her body in the 1:30 a.m. accident involving the vehicle in which she was a passenger.

A man in the vehicle suffered burns over 20 percent of his body, police said. Both crash victims are residents of the Cayman Islands, police said.

The car, a black Audi, was traveling north on West Bay Road when it hit the curb at the bend in the road in the Public Beach area and flipped over.

Police said the fuel line in the vehicle ruptured and then ignited after the car flipped.

When police arrived, both people were lying on the ground near the burning car. The woman was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital in critical condition. The man was listed in stable condition at press time Monday.

Health Services Authority Medical Director Dr. Delroy Jefferson said hospital crews were trying to stabilize the woman and make sure she retained enough fluid and oxygen while they searched for a hospital burn center to send her to. Once the patient is stabilized, Dr. Jefferson said, it is likely she would have to be sent off island to either the U.S. or Jamaica.

“This kind of extensive burn is best treated in a burn center … we have no burn center in the Cayman Islands to deal with such an injury,” Dr. Jefferson said.

It was not known at press time whether the male victim from the crash would also need off-island treatment.