Condition of injured USS Frank Cable sailor is upgraded
ARLINGTON, Va. — One of the sailors injured in a Dec. 1 incident aboard the Guam-based USS Frank Cable has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, a Navy official confirmed Tuesday.
The sailor has been moved out of intensive care at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a spokesman Pacific Submarine Force.
The Navy would not release the sailor’s name, Davis said.
“Consistent with federal law and military policy we do not release the names of injured personnel,” he said in a Tuesday e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
Three other sailors remain in critical condition and one was released for outpatient care, Davis said.
Eight sailors were injured when pressurized steam leaked into the ship’s fire room during routine maintenance checks. The incident is under investigation.
Two sailors were treated and released from Naval Hospital Guam.
The other six sailors were taken via Hawaii to Brooke Army Medical Center, where Seaman Jack Valentine died of his injuries on Dec. 7.
The sailors have been treated by burn specialists from the moment they arrived at Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii, said Col. Dave Barillo, a burn surgeon at Brooke.
Barillo said he was in charge of a nine-member burn team to meet the sailors when they arrived at Tripler. Some of the sailors required specialized ventilators because they inhaled hot steam, he said.
Barillo said he could not talk specifically about how the sailors are being treated due to confidentiality concerns.
In general, burn patients spend between one and two days in the hospital for each percent of body surface area that is burned, he said.
Valentine died one day before Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Joe R. Campa Jr. arrived at the hospital to visit the injured sailors.
Queried by Stars and Stripes about one sailor’s improved state, Campa said he was encouraged by any positive news about the sailors’ conditions.
“This has been a difficult time for their families, and the Cable,” Campa said in a Wednesday e-mail. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.”