Power restored at California hospital that evacuated 200+ patients

Los Angeles-based Adventist Health White Memorial has resumed normal operations after a power outage forced the hospital to evacuate more than 200 patients Aug. 22, a spokesperson told Becker's.

The outage occurred about 4 a.m. Aug. 21, as tropical storm Hilary swept across Southern California. Although backup generators kicked in for the entire hospital campus, the generator for the hospital's specialty care tower stopped working around midnight on Aug. 22, prompting the evacuations.

Twenty-eight critical care patients were transferred to Adventist Health Glendale and Adventist Health Simi Valley, among other nearby hospitals. With the aid of firefighters, the hospital relocated an additional 200 patients from the tower using stairwells and a single operational elevator. These patients were transferred to other buildings on the hospital's campus to shelter in place during the storm. 

Clinicians also delivered two babies during the power outage, using flashlights and cellphones to illuminate birthing suites. All deliveries went smoothly, and the mothers and babies were transferred to other hospitals. 

White Memorial safely transferred all patients back to the facility Aug. 23 after power was restored and an additional backup generator was installed. Officials are still working to identify the cause of the power outage.

"Thanks go out to our skilled and dedicated staff for their unwavering dedication to providing exceptional care and service for our patients," John Raffoul, president of Adventist Health White Memorial, told Becker's. "I am proud of our leaders, staff, physicians, nurses, environmental services and everyone who went into emergency mode and did not miss a step in keeping all of our patients safe."

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