Over 500 patients have been evacuated from New York’s Bellevue hospital, according to NBC News. Those who had stayed at the hospital during Hurricane Sandy’s heavy rains and high winds are now being moved elsewhere.
Bellevue Hospital has been running on generators since power was knocked out on Monday. Patients at the facility who required respirators and the like were immediately transferred to other hospitals. The remainder of the patients who were housed at the hospital are now being moved.
The New York Daily News reports that, while Bellevue Hospital is now located in the worst of the flooded areas of the city, it has been operating on back-up generators since Monday. Now that the storm has passed, officials are interested in getting patients into other hospitals.
The health department has reportedly activated “surge capacity plans” as a result of the numerous evacuations. Some doctors wondered why, precisely, the hospital had not been fully evacuated ahead of the storm. However, since other hospitals were sending patients to facilities that were out of harm’s way, officials explained that there was simply no room to house everyone in need.
According to NBC News, a failed back-up generator at NYU Langone Medical Center forced doctors to send many critically-ill patients to other hospitals.
“They were literally carrying them down the stairs,” explained Terry Lynam, spokesman for the North Shore-LIJ system. Lynam described the scene as “traumatic.”
“Due to the severity of Hurricane Sandy and the higher than expected storm surge, we are in the process of transferring approximately 215 patients within the medical center to nearby facilities,” a NYU Langone Medical Center spokesperson explained on Monday.
Of the 215 individuals that were transferred, 93 of them were reportedly cancer patients who are now being treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The New York Daily News reports that Bellevue Hospital is currently diverting ambulances from the emergency room.