The New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City was forced to evacuate more than 200 patients including 20 babies that were in the Intensive Care Unit.
The NYU hospital lost power on Monday night between 7 and 7:45 p.m., the hospital’s basement, lower floors and elevator shafts were filled with 10 to 12 feet of water and the backup generators had failed, according to Dr. Andrew Brotman, senior vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and strategy.
The hospital was without phone service and the surrounding roads were impassable. Patients that were on ventilators were already moved to other hospitals and the city agency was still in the process of working out where to send the rest of the patients at that time.
A spokesperson for the NYU hospital said Tuesday morning, “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.” With the critical patients already taken to safety, it was the elderly, psychiatric patients, and healthy newborns that remained in the hospital.
“I don’t know why we waited so long to evacuate,” one NYU nurse told Huffington Post. “Everything was okay in terms of people working together, and us having enough staff to complete the transfer. But it seems like we waited too long, especially with all the news we had about the storm.”
Other hospitals in New York City are relocating patients as of Tuesday morning. Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn is moving about 180 patients to other facilities, Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the New York Health and Hospitals Corp. said.
As of 2:15 p.m. this afternoon, the NYU evacuation was complete. According to a NYU hospital statement released a little after noon on Tuesday, “300 patients were safely transferred from NYU Langone Medical Center to nearby hospitals able to provide the appropriate level of care. At this time, we are focusing on assessing the full extent of the storm’s impact on all of our patient care, research and education facilities,” the statement continued. “We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.”
“NYU hospital had a very sophisticated foundation that was built specifically to withstand a flood, but it flooded anyway,” Dr. Andrew Brotman. “That’s just an example of how stunning and rapid this flooding situation was.”
NYU Hospital Evacuation
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says backup power has been lost at New York University hospital and the city is moving people out. The hospital complex is in lower Manhattan where flooding has been reported.