Hospitals?

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Dec 11, 2003
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Did they finally get those hospitals evacuated? Does anyone know?

One of the most atrocious acts of criminal negligence by the government at ALL levels is the failure to have ANY plan to evacuate those hospitals. Maybe more than even the Convention Center, this breakdown is incredible to me. At least with the Center, government apologists can talk about how officials might not have known about the 25,000 people gathered there screaming for help, waving their hands, and begging passing police for assistance. As Mr. Chertoff seemed eager to say, "What 25,000 people? I don't see them."

But Charity, Memorial, VA, and Tulane Med Center, have been located in downtown New Orleans for many dozens of years. Everybody knew their plans for vertical evacuation. In any disaster plan not drawn up by a complete and total imbecile, if the city is flooded long-term, you would make plans to evacuate the hospitals, wouldn't you?

Yes I know about the snipers. So you turn tail and leave the patients to die? It takes 24 hours to compose a plan to deal with some jackass with a rifle?

Those patients are dying, some of them are veterans, too, I'm sure, though I haven't heard any news coming out of the VA. Has anyone else?
 
Dec 11, 2003
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Denton, Texas
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I can partially answer this now. Dr. Sanji Gupta reported to Larry King earlier that several Charity Hospital ICU patients died while being transported to the top of a parking garage where they could be airlifted safely away from snipers.

I will amend my earlier post to say that I don't think any hospital evac plans accounted for snipers. That said, I don't understand why it takes so long to secure the evacuation of patients from the top of a hospital. 36 hours?

So, more people die who didn't have to.
 

B Doss

EF2
Aug 17, 2005
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Austin, TX
In addition, this morning, doctors from two hospitals began calling The Associated Press pleading for an evacuation. Tulane UMC is said to have almost completed evacuations, but Charity and University Hospital have not been evacuated. Nurses are giving themselves I.V. fluids to stay hydrated and oriented while caring for patients. Patients who have died are being placed in stairwells. Some critical patients are receiving manual ventilation by hand. There was an attempt to airlift supplies to Kenner Memorial, but the pilots refused to land when they observed a large crowd with guns. Numerous patients are reportedly being cared for on the roof. Source: NOLA
 

Rob_Davis

This question should have been asked on Sunday! The mayor ordered a mandatory evacuation. Who decided that hospitals were not included in that order? The mayor? The hospital council? The individual hospital administrators? All three have some serious questions to answer for not evacuating the moment the NWS warning was issued. Whining about it five days later sounds like passing the buck to me.
 
Although it failed miserably, the hospitals' evacuation plan was a vertical one; move patients to the upper floors of the hospital if necessary. This kept the patients safe during the storm, but the real problems started when no one came to help.
 
Dec 11, 2003
1,194
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Denton, Texas
cycloneroad.com
This question should have been asked on Sunday! The mayor ordered a mandatory evacuation. Who decided that hospitals were not included in that order? The mayor? The hospital council? The individual hospital administrators? All three have some serious questions to answer for not evacuating the moment the NWS warning was issued. Whining about it five days later sounds like passing the buck to me.
Rob, with all due respect, it's very clear that you don't know what you're talking about here.

Hospitals don't evacuate for the same criteria as the general population. The logistics involved, especially in New Orleans, are incredibly complicated. My mother was an adminstrative position in the New Orleans VA for over a decade. I am intimately familiar with their hurricane planning--approved of course by Central Office in D.C.. Vertical evacuation is the only solution UNLESS you start moving patients two weeks in advance. Can you understand that? Surely, somebody with the background you claim can see why this would be true.

The plan even assumes a flooded city. What the plan does not address (and how or why should it?) is who exactly will be in charge of landing on the roof of the hospital and evacuating our veterans from that building. As you can imagine, the plan devotes its energy with how to keep patients (and staff) alive until help arrives.

To this day, I have not heard a single piece of information about the evacuation of the VA Hospital. This isn't a little clinic, either. It is a 600 bed facilitity, filled with men and women who served this country in Vietnam, WW2, and the Gulf Wars.

I sure hope we came through for them when they needed us.
 
Jun 21, 2004
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bigstormpicture.com
Did they finally get those hospitals evacuated? Does anyone know?
The governor said yes. However, the hospital director said on CNN that that was wholly incorrect and that there are still hundreds of patients in his hospital and in the neighboring hospital and that a significant number have died and are currently dieing. They're stacking bodies in the stairwell and the nurses, who also have no access to food or water, are giving each other IVs to keep hydrated.

FWIW, the two following sources of information have entirely discredited themselves in my opinion and I no longer listen to anything that they say seriously:

FEMA head
Louisiana governor

The LA governor also denied that there had been a shooting at the superdome, despite what we heard on the scanner the other night. Information is being very tightly controlled, and what's left for the reporters to find on their own is hard to get to -- the fog of war is pretty thick.
 

Rob_Davis

Rob, with all due respect, it's very clear that you don't know what you're talking about here.

Hospitals don't evacuate for the same criteria as the general population.
Correct. However, this hurricane did not exactly meet the same criteria as most storms either. The mayor knew it. The hospitals knew it. Any plan worth the paper it is written on is designed with the flexibility necessary to meet changing conditions. This one quite obviously was not.

With all due respect, you don't know enough about me to intelligently judge what I know. Regardless, it doesn't take a genius to look at the NWS warning, listen to the mayor's order, and then compare it to the hospitals' response and figure out they failed to plan adequately.

Evacuation of a hospital is not an impossible task. I've done it. But it obviously cannot happen if nobody orders or requests it. That is where the failure lies.
 
Dec 11, 2003
1,194
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Denton, Texas
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Evacuation of a hospital is not an impossible task. I've done it. But it obviously cannot happen if nobody orders or requests it. That is where the failure lies.
I'd be interested to know about the hospital evacuation you were involved in and what challenges you faced. What was the situation, etc?
 
Rob, with all due respect, it's very clear that you don't know what you're talking about here.

Hospitals don't evacuate for the same criteria as the general population.
Correct. However, this hurricane did not exactly meet the same criteria as most storms either. The mayor knew it. The hospitals knew it. Any plan worth the paper it is written on is designed with the flexibility necessary to meet changing conditions. This one quite obviously was not.

With all due respect, you don't know enough about me to intelligently judge what I know. Regardless, it doesn't take a genius to look at the NWS warning, listen to the mayor's order, and then compare it to the hospitals' response and figure out they failed to plan adequately.

Evacuation of a hospital is not an impossible task. I've done it. But it obviously cannot happen if nobody orders or requests it. That is where the failure lies.
I'd have to strongly agree with you here. It is quite obvious the plan wasn't up to par...
 

Anonymous

Rob, with all due respect, it's very clear that you don't know what you're talking about here.

Hospitals don't evacuate for the same criteria as the general population.
Correct. However, this hurricane did not exactly meet the same criteria as most storms either. The mayor knew it. The hospitals knew it. Any plan worth the paper it is written on is designed with the flexibility necessary to meet changing conditions. This one quite obviously was not.

With all due respect, you don't know enough about me to intelligently judge what I know. Regardless, it doesn't take a genius to look at the NWS warning, listen to the mayor's order, and then compare it to the hospitals' response and figure out they failed to plan adequately.

Evacuation of a hospital is not an impossible task. I've done it. But it obviously cannot happen if nobody orders or requests it. That is where the failure lies.
I'd have to strongly agree with you here. It is quite obvious the plan wasn't up to par...
You can plan all you want it will make no difference the resources required to evacuate, relocate (which has to be coordinated at the time of evac), with the proper medical equipment was beyond the means of the city of NO prior to 24 hours of Hurricane impact. This is why they typicaly do not evacuate. Don't you think there is a reason this issue wasn't taken care of back by Tuesday? Certainly if it was that easy as you guys say to evacuate some hospitals they could have done so easily by Wednesday.
 
Rob, with all due respect, it's very clear that you don't know what you're talking about here.

Hospitals don't evacuate for the same criteria as the general population.
Correct. However, this hurricane did not exactly meet the same criteria as most storms either. The mayor knew it. The hospitals knew it. Any plan worth the paper it is written on is designed with the flexibility necessary to meet changing conditions. This one quite obviously was not.

With all due respect, you don't know enough about me to intelligently judge what I know. Regardless, it doesn't take a genius to look at the NWS warning, listen to the mayor's order, and then compare it to the hospitals' response and figure out they failed to plan adequately.

Evacuation of a hospital is not an impossible task. I've done it. But it obviously cannot happen if nobody orders or requests it. That is where the failure lies.
I'd have to strongly agree with you here. It is quite obvious the plan wasn't up to par...
You can plan all you want it will make no difference the resources required to evacuate, relocate (which has to be coordinated at the time of evac), with the proper medical equipment was beyond the means of the city of NO prior to 24 hours of Hurricane impact. This is why they typicaly do not evacuate. Don't you think there is a reason this issue wasn't taken care of back by Tuesday? Certainly if it was that easy as you guys say to evacuate some hospitals they could have done so easily by Wednesday.
Never said it was easy... I just pointed out the obvious fact that their plan didn't work. It it had, then this thread wouldn't have even been started.
 

Bobbi Andrzejek

To this day, I have not heard a single piece of information about the evacuation of the VA Hospital. This isn't a little clinic, either. It is a 600 bed facilitity, filled with men and women who served this country in Vietnam, WW2, and the Gulf Wars.

I sure hope we came through for them when they needed us.
Oh my gosh, is this still accurate? :shock: My husband's a Vietnem vet. If he knew this, we'd been down there hauling them out ourselves, even if we had to swim.
 
Dec 11, 2003
1,194
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Denton, Texas
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Oh my gosh, is this still accurate? :shock: My husband's a Vietnem vet. If he knew this, we'd been down there hauling them out ourselves, even if we had to swim.
Bobbi, I have been hoping that the lack of info on the VA indicates that all is well. I know that's a dangerous assumption, but with the attention given the city's hospital situation, I hope we would have heard if things were bad there. The VA is near Tulane and other prominent downtown locations. The Superdome is in walking distance. In fact, many VA employees park in the Tulane Medical Center garage. Tulane was evacuated, so it seems unlikely they could have forgotten about the VA in the way they forgot about University Hospital.

Again, we can only hope, since there appears to be no written plan anywhere that actually lists the hospitals in New Orleans. Despite their alleged drill for this very scenario last year, FEMA doesn't seem to know how many hospitals are in New Orleans or where they're located.

The VA disaster planning is extensive and taken very seriously, as you would expect from a federal agency. They actually practice this--literally moving patients (who are well enough for such a thing) from one part of the hospital to another to rehearse the necessary procedures. Part of their annual inspection from not only JCAH but the VA Central Office involves a detailed examination of these drills and records of drills.

If anybody knows for sure about the situaiton at the VA, please post something or PM me.
 
Dec 11, 2003
1,194
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Denton, Texas
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Good news on the VA Hospital in New Orleans. From the DVA website:

Overview
All patients have been safely evacuated from the New Orleans VA Medical Center. Nearly all employees and all family members at the medical center have also been safely evacuated. Only a few employees remain on the scene for administrative and security purposes. No injuries or deaths of VA patients or employees have occurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

A toll-free telephone number, 1-800-507-4571 has been established for veterans or their families to obtain information, including where to receive care, how to receive prescription drugs, and other concerns. Another toll-free number, 1-888-766-2474, is available to provide information to VA employees at the affected sites.

The Biloxi VA Medical Center remains open, but its Gulfport Division suffered major damage. No patients and few employees remain at Gulfport. VA medical centers in Houston, Dallas and Atlanta are assisting with the evacuation of non-VA patients and refugees from New Orleans.

New Orleans
Evacuation of the New Orleans VA Medical Center is complete. Only a few administrative staff members will remain, along with security and law enforcement officers. Those evacuated include 146 patients and approximately 500 employees and family members have been moved to VA facilities in Houston, Jackson, Shreveport, Alexandria and Little Rock. Ten patients requiring ventilators have been transferred to other hospitals. The Alexandria VA Medical Center will continue to serve as a staging area for moving additional staff and supplies to New Orleans.
 
Germainly related to the thread... I had an indepth discussion at work yesterday regarding many facets of the disaster. We discussed why hospitals would be targets of armed thugs and all concurred that a hospital is an excellent source of drugs. We all know that a drug addict in need of a fix can get extremlely violent. For future disasters in large urban areas there will need to be more security at these facilities so the folks can get out safely.
 
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