As Hurricane Sandy made a landfall along the East coast, many hospitals went into emergency mode- making room for the storm victims, getting hospital staff to stay on duty and stocking up fuel and emergency supplies, media reports said.
Some 16 people have died due to the storm, officials said. Three people have died in each New Jersey and Pennsylvania; two have died Connecticut and one each in West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. One of the people who died was an 8-year-old kid, reported US Today.
Failed back-up generators forced hospitals to evacuate patients. Some 200 patients were shifted from New York University's Tisch Hospital
Five mothers and their newborns were shifted from New York Downtown Hospital in lower New York to a Bronx hospital on higher ground, USA Today reported.
"The moms and babies are doing fine. We made sure the dads had a place to stay, too. This was done so they'd have a safe transition home, not because they had health problems. We expect them to leave the hospital today or tomorrow," said Susan Green-Lorenzen, senior vice president of operations at Montefiore, USA Today reported.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Monday that all public hospitals in the city would remain open throughout the storm, nurse.com had reported.
"We've all brought sleeping bags and stuff. We're braced and we're ready and we're fully staffed," said Dr. Ernest Patti, senior attending physician of emergency medicine for St. Barnabas, nbc news.com
Doctors working in many hospitals along the East Coast have decided to stay at the hospitals to ensure that emergency cases are handled effectively. "In the emergency department, this is what people live for," said Dr. Christopher Raio, associate chairman of the department of emergency medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y, nbc news.com reported.
Many non-emergency cases and elective surgeries were cancelled on Monday and in some cases, on Tuesday as well, nurse.com reported.
Some 215 patients were evacuated late Monday to nearby facilities, including the Mount Sinai Hospital, said NYU Langone Medical Center, nbc news.com reported and about 30 psychiatric patients from South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island were shifted to South Oaks Hospital in Amityville.
Dr. Rick Hong, Medical Director of the Southern New Jersey Regional Medical Coordination Center had earlier said that flying debris are expected to be the main reason for trauma this storm season. "You can see penetrating trauma, as well as blunt trauma. So trauma is a big one we're thinking about," Hong added, UHC TV had reported.
Richmond Medical Center is preparing for an influx of patients that may be shifted here in case of other hospitals shutting down due to the storm. "Richmond University Medical Center has learned from its experiences during Hurricane Irene that it may well be the only hospital in operation during Hurricane Sandy," said Kathryn Krause Rooney, who chairs Richmond Medical's board of trustees, Silive.com reported.
Published by Medicaldaily.com