Objective To describe the 1861 injured inpatients and deaths in the West China Hospital of Sichuan University after the Wenchuan earthquake, to provide evidence to help improve emergency plans for earthquake, and the establishment of state-level regional medical centers. Methods The analyses use, data provided by the Department of Information of the hospital up until 23 July 2008. Microsoft Excel for data input and SPSS 11.5 for statistical analysis were used. Results By 23 July, 2728 people from the disaster areas had been treated in the hospital, of whom 872 were admitted to the emergency department and 1856 to the inpatient department (974 men, median age 43 years; 882 women, median age 46 years). Most (82.4%) patients were sent to the hospital within the first two weeks after the earthquake, and the number of inpatients reached its peak on day 8 (976 cases). Most (60.2%) of the inpatients were discharged between day 9 and day 18. The injured patients came mainly from Deyang, Aba Prefecture and Dujiangyan. On admission, the diagnoses were mainly fracture (54.8%), craniocerebral injury (9.8%), and thoracoabdominal injury (7.5%). Thirty-three patients died, including five who were dead on arrival at the hospital, one death in the emergency department, and 27 inpatient deaths. Conclusion The development of an emergency plan for medical rescue after an earthquake disaster is an essential step to enhance emergency response capability, to improve the scientific process of field triage, transport and transfer, and to ensure the rational allocation and application of healthcare resources after large disasters in the future.