Global & Disaster Medicine

How did hospitals in Florida fare with Irma? Quite well, it seems;

Washington Post

“…..Some hospital officials credited changes and additions they’ve made in the past decade to strengthen their buildings against natural disasters.

“I think the most important thing we did was that after the 2005 period, when our state saw seven to eight hurricanes, we decided to spend tens of millions of dollars to fortify our facilities,” said Steve Sonenreich, chief executive of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. The hospital installed hurricane-proof glass in its windows, for example, and placed generators 30 feet above the flood plain and inside a structure that can withstand winds of 180 mph.

This weekend, it never lost power, Sonenreich said. In fact, staff tested backup generators Saturday afternoon and then just kept them on, even though they weren’t needed. On Monday, the worst damage to the property appeared confined to fallen trees and leaks….

In Fort Myers, Lee Health’s hospitals fared so well that their official head count went up in the middle of the hurricane.

“We had 92 individuals with special needs — that is, on ventilators — and women in their third term of pregnancy who could not evacuate,” Garn said. The hospitals took in not only those maternity patients but their caretakers, too. More than 8,000 employees and their families slept in corridors and offices, she said, while about 20 people who arrived at the facilities but had no medical needs were driven by staff to public shelters……”


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