As New York City attempts to recover from its run-in with Hurricane sandy earlier this week, public hospitals like Bellevue are struggling with failing power, limited resources, no computers and poor lighting. According to hospital staff, Bellevue is losing their struggle and will most likely be evacuating the 700 patients still be treated at their location.
The hospital has been in trouble since Monday night when they came very close to losing all of their generators, while the initial disaster was averted failing conditions are making it too dangerous for the patients in their care. This will be the second evacuation of one of New York City’s 11 public hospitals. Coney Island Hospital, in Brooklyn, was evacuated on Tuesday. One of its generators was submerged in water, leaving only one generator functioning. Officials decided that the situation was to precarious to keep patients on site.
Mount Sinai Medical Center has sent an 8 member medical team to assist Bellevue staff, where they are still attempting to treat patients with serious health problems. Nurses are hard at work today, carrying medicine and food up as many as 17 flights of stairs to where patients need their assistance. Evacuations are slowly getting under way and the hospital is no longer accepting patients. Police have been posted throughout the hospital and are limiting visitor access beyond the main entrance lobby. Patients with the most serious conditions have been moved to Mount Sinai but the quest is still underway to find beds for evacuated patients.
Hurricane Sandy has taken out power and transportation throughout much of lower Manhattan. Most bus lines are back up and running today with limited service but it could be several more days before the lights come back on and subways start running, leaving many concerned about their limited supplies of food and water and their ability to get back to work.