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Hospital Forced To Evacuate During Hurricane Sandy

Hospital Forced To Evacuate During Hurricane Sandy


Airdate: 10/30/2012

It was a scene right out of a disaster movie as rescue workers scrambled to evacuate an entire hospital during the height of Hurricane Sandy.

Just after midnight, the power went out at NYU Medical Center in Midtown Manhattan. Then, the backup generator failed. But it got worse, there was a back-up to the back-up generator and that failed too.

The hospital with 215 patients, many of them in critical condition, was plunged into darkness. The respirators, computers, all the medical equipment, even the phones were shut down.

Doctor Jon Lapook, medical correspondent for the CBS Evening News helped evacuate patients.

"This was a life and death situation. A lot of these patients are very sick. You had 20 babies in the neo-natal unit four of them intubated, meaning, they needed breathing tubes. Those babies are as sick as you get," said Dr. Lapook.

Doctors, firefighters and ambulance workers brought the patients one by one out into the rain and howling wind to a convoy of waiting ambulances.

A nurse on a stretcher cradled a premature baby and held an oxygen mask to the baby's mouth to help the little guy breathe.

All night long and into the morning, the staff worked to empty the hospital. Every four minutes an ambulance pulled up and a patient was loaded inside and it took off. 

The ambulances have come from all over the country. INSIDE EDITION spotted license plates from New Hampshire, Ohio, and even California.

A father was happy to be taking his newborn baby home after spending the night inside the hospital in total darkness.

The father said, “The lights went out. One side of the hospital first then our side eventually went out as well.”

By mid-morning, the hospital was empty and every patient had been saved which was an extraordinary effort to happen in the middle of one of the worst storms in New York history.   

 


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