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Community hospitals in crisis mode after wildfires shut down Kaiser, Sutter hospitals

Sutter Santa Rosa (Calif.) Regional Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa (Calif.) Medical Center, two of the largest hospitals in the area, have been closed since Monday due to wildfires. With the two facilities shut down, some community hospitals have seen a significant influx of patients.

Sutter Santa Rosa and Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa were forced to evacuate Monday morning due to the fires. Seventy-seven patients were transferred from Sutter Santa Rosa and 130 patients were moved from Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa to several other area hospitals.

Sonoma West Medical Center, a 37-bed hospital in Sebastopol, Calif., had only two patients Sunday night. However, by the next morning the hospital was overflowing with patients evacuated from Sutter Santa Rosa. Sonoma West Medical Center treated 40 patients in the emergency department and admitted another 21 patients, according to Sonoma West Times & News.

Sonoma West Medical Center's staff is working overtime to keep up with the higher patient volume, and volunteers are helping manage the rush of patients as well. The hospital is running out of supplies, such as linens, but officials said Sutter Health Emergency Medical Supply and the county's office of emergency services are providing reinforcements, according to Sonoma West Times & News.

Sutter Santa Rosa is expected to remain closed until at least the middle of next week. The hospital was on emergency power as of Tuesday. "We do not know exactly when all utilities will be restored, but we expect it will take several days," said Sutter.

As of Wednesday, all appointments at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa and Kaiser's medical offices in Rohnert Park, Mercury Way and Napa, Calif., were cancelled. "We are working with local authorities to determine when we will be able to resume normal operations," said Kaiser.

Due to encroaching fires, evacuation advisory notices have been issued for Cloverdale, Healdsburg and Windsor, Calif., adding further stress to the hospitals that remain open in the area.

More articles on patient flow:

Puerto Rico's healthcare system in dire condition 3 weeks after hurricane: 5 things to know
Sentara to cease services at North Carolina medical center
Wildfires close 2 hospitals in Northern California

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