Irene's Impact

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 8:11am

A look at how Hurrican Irene impacted the east coast of the United States, from a healthcare perspective.

  • The most recent report states that 27 people in eight states lost their lives because of the storm.
  • Total damage on the East Coast is projected at $7 billion.
  • After evacuating more than 1,000 patients, Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, and the north and south campuses of Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) received state approval to begin accepting inpatients on Sunday evening. About eight individuals came to the Southside ED during the storm on Saturday night and Sunday morning with cardiac conditions, stroke and other serious medical issues. They were stabilized and then transported to other North Shore-LIJ hospitals. "In an extraordinary display of teamwork and advanced emergency preparedness, employees and physicians from throughout the North Shore-LIJ Health System established a safe haven for more than 5,000 patients, outside nursing home residents and others seeking shelter during the first hurricane to hit the New York metropolitan area in 26 years," said Michael Dowling, North Shore-LIJ's president and chief executive officer. While North Shore-LIJ hospitals escaped major damage, several were operating on emergency power as of Sunday evening.
  • As Hurricane Irene roared over North Carolina, the staff at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington was kept busy delivering a dozen babies. Officials said the babies were born during a 17-hour lockdown as the storm swirled - another eight women were in labor.These "hurricane babies" represented a 30 percent spike at the hospital, which delivers about 4,000 babies each year. A few of the couples were considering Irene as a middle name.

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