Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City had to evacuate 300 patients as their back up generators failed after Hurricane Sandy hit. After the initial power outage, the hospital ran on backup generators from the 13th floor. The basement flooded from the torrential rain and while they pumped out 17 million gallons of water, the fuel pumps shorted out and the generators became inoperable.
Volunteers carried fuel from the basement to the 13th floor to keep the lights on as the hospital started evacuating patients. The hospital had no hot water, no lab or radiology, and no functioning toilets.
This hospital closure comes after the NYU Langone Medical Center evacuated after their generators failed also. Over 300 patients were moved to nearby hospitals, including their neonatal ward.
The pressure is on for other hospitals to make room for the displaced patients. Each hospital has a maximum capacity and so the Health Department has authorized “surge-capacity plans” to allow for a temporary increase in maximum patient capacity.
Currently the nearby hospitals are converting nonclinical space into dormitory style wards. These include conference rooms and other office space.
The initial hospital response has been that St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital will take 200 patients, Mount Sinai Hospital will take 40 patients, and Maimonides Medical Center will take 50 patients.
Source: NY Times