x

Society

After Ian, Florida Ηospitals Εvacuate Hundreds of Patients

September 29, 2022

Hundreds of hospital patients were being evacuated from facilities across the Fort Myers region Thursday after damage from Hurricane Ian cut off water supplies. One area hospital began assessing the full damage from ferocious winds that tore away parts of its roof and swamped its emergency room.

Other health care systems in Ian’s path, from the state’s Gulf coast to the Atlantic, were also moving patients because of flood waters.

Even as the problem was too much water in much of the state, at least nine hospitals in southwest Florida had the opposite problem.

“We have one large health system in southwest Florida that is without water in all of their facilities. And so they are fast approaching a point where they will not be able to safely take care of their patients. So that is an urgent focus to get those patients transferred,” said Mary Mayhew, the president of the Florida Hospital Association.

Mayhew said more 1,200 patients were being evacuated.

Residents of Avante Orlando nursing home are evacuated through floodwater to awaiting buses in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Schneider)

Meanwhile, other hospitals could find themselves further strained, she said.

“There is considerable effort underway to rescue individuals who also will need medical care. And to identify hospital beds available either in the region or elsewhere,” she said.

Hurricane Ian swamped HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital in Port Charlotte from both above and below, as the storm surge flooded its lower level emergency room while fierce winds tore part of its fourth floor roof from its intensive care unit, according to a doctor who works there.

Dr. Birgit Bodine spent the night at the hospital, anticipating the storm would make things busy, “but we didn’t anticipate that the roof would blow off on the fourth floor,” she said.

Water gushed down Wednesday from above onto the ICU, forcing staff to evacuate the hospital’s sickest patients — some of them on ventilators — to other floors. Staff members resorted to towels and plastic bins to try to mop up the sodden mess.

The medium-sized hospital spans four floors, but patients were forced into just two because of the damage.

This image provided by Orange County Fire Rescue’s Public Information Office rescue crews work quickly to safely evacuate Avante at Orlando nursing home residents on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Orlando, Fla. (Orange County Fire Rescue’s Public Information Office via AP)

Bodine plans to spend another night at the hospital, when incoming storm injuries could make things worse.

“The ambulances may be coming soon and we don’t know where to put them in the hospital at this point,” she said. “Because we’re doubled and tripled up.”

Despite the inundation, Bodine said patients have been mostly understanding and upbeat.

“For us, as much as everything is terrible and we’re exhausted … as long as our patients do OK and nobody ends up dying or having a bad outcome, that’s what matters,” Bodine said.

In Orlando, residents of the Avante nursing home were evacuated to ambulances and waiting buses through floodwater in a neighborhood that doesn’t typically flood. Paramedics rolled out residents one by one on stretchers and wheelchairs. At the neighboring Palm Island at Baldwin apartment complex, cars were submerged in the parking lot.

RELATED

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Jimmy Carter Becomes First Living Ex-President with Official White House Christmas Ornament

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter has another distinction to his name.

JERUSALEM  — International efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas appeared to gain new momentum Thursday as the White House said a visit by a senior envoy with Israeli leaders was “going well” and other mediators reported encouraging signs from the warring parties.

ATHENS - With improvement changes made by the leadership of the Ministry of Justice and after a two-day lengthy debate and intense confrontation between the government and the opposition, the draft bill for the new penal code was voted by a majority in the plenary session of the Hellenic Parliament.

LAS VEGAS  — Hydeia Broadbent, the HIV/AIDS activist who came to national prominence in the 1990s as a young child for her inspirational talks to reduce the stigma surrounding the virus she was born with, has died.

NEW YORK – Greek-American John Avlon, a Democrat and former CNN political analyst, announced on February 21 that he is running for Congress in New York’s 1st Congressional District, the New York Times reported, noting that he is entering “a crowded congressional primary to try to flip a Republican-held swing seat on Long Island.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.