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Irma forces 35 hospitals across 3 states to evacuate: 9 things to know

Hurricane Irma hit southwest Florida Sunday and continued its destructive march north, forcing at least 35 hospitals across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to evacuate patients or shut down. Downgraded to a tropical storm Monday morning, Irma still presents a major threat to many healthcare facilities. 

Here are nine things to know.

1. As of Saturday afternoon, most of Florida's hospitals remained open, the Florida Hospital Association told STAT. In advance of the hurricane, healthcare facilities across the state evacuated nearly 1,900 patients.

2. Four hospitals in the Florida Keys — Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Fishermen's Hospital in Marathon, Mariners Hospital in Tavernier and Depoo Hospital in Key West — were among the first healthcare facilities in the state to close last week ahead of the hurricane, according to STAT.

3. In Miami, Mercy Hospital, part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, closed Friday after evacuating 200 patients. The patients were transferred to other HCA facilities. The Miami Cancer Institute, part of Coral Gables-based Baptist Health South Florida, also closed.

4. Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami opened two conference rooms to house 30 expectant couples who were unable to leave during the hurricane. The women are 36 or more weeks pregnant and unable to travel, according to WHDH.

5. Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System stayed open during the hurricane and provided shelter for hundreds of evacuees, according to the Naples Daily News.

6. On Florida's west coast, at least five hospitals have closed. Tampa General Hospital, the region's only Level 1 trauma center, stayed open. As of Sunday, about 650 patients were in the hospital. A group of physicians, nurses and other staff will care for patients throughout the remainder of the storm, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

7. In central Florida, Cape Canaveral Hospital closed after evacuating patients last week, according to STAT.

8. In Georgia, Candler Hospital in Savannah transferred patients to St. Joseph's Hospital in Savannah. Officials said St. Joseph's Hospital "is better equipped to handle the long-term needs of our caregivers, medical staff and any patients who are too sick to be discharged or evacuated."

9. In South Carolina, Hilton Head Hospital evacuated all patients and suspended services.

More articles on patient flow: 

3.3% of ED visits 'avoidable,' study finds
54% of rural counties do not have a hospital that offers obstetric care

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