7 things to know about Mother Nature's effect on hospitals this week

Over the past week, natural disasters have seriously affected hospitals' ability to treat patients.

From a fast-moving wildfire in California to massive flooding in Louisiana, Mother Nature has taken her toll on everything in her way, including homes, businesses and hospitals.

Here are seven things to know about how the natural elements have harmed hospitals this week.

1. After a fire broke out Aug. 13, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake (Calif.) was forced to shut down. Officials closed the hospital, which is part of Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health, the next day and transferred at least 15 patients to Lakeport, Calif.-based Sutter Lakeside Hospital.

2. The hospital resumed services Aug. 17. Though it had to cease patient care for 64 hours during the evacuation process, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake began offering a full range of services four days after the wildfire — the Clayton fire — broke out. The hospital didn't sustain damages in the fire. As of Aug. 17, the fire had burned 4,000 acres and was 40 percent contained, according to ABC 7 News.

3. Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health donated $100,000 to wildfire relief efforts. Sutter Health — of which Sutter Lakeside Hospital is a part — gave $100,000 to the American Red Cross Gold Country Region to help the families affected by the fire. "Our Sutter Lakeside Hospital has been part of Lake County, where the Clayton fire is burning, since 1945 and neighbors help each other in times of need. I hope our donation brings hope and healing to our community," said Jeff Gerard, president of Sutter's Bay Area operating unit, in a statement.

4. Flooding in Louisiana forced Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge to transfer patients. Due to severe flooding, the medical center transferred 40 critically ill patients to other Ochsner facilities on Aug. 14. An additional 20 patients were also transferred as a safety precaution.

5. Ochsner established an emergency hotline for patients' family members. The day after the transfer, Ochsner created an emergency hotline for family members who needed information on the location of a patient.

6. Ochsner had to close down many of its health centers, but others remained open as of Aug. 17. Nine health centers, clinics and urgent care locations were open to patients, but two were closed due to flooding.

7. Although more Ochsner facilities have opened, threats from the Louisiana flooding are far from over. Experts believe the floods could make the state a hospitable home to Zika-carrying mosquitoes, thus increasing the risk of local transmission in Louisiana. For instance, eggs already laid by disease-transmitting mosquitoes in debris like empty buckets or tires could be protected from surging waters and subsequently thrive after the waters recede.

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