East Alabama hospital well-prepared, treats 63 people in tornado aftermath

The East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika treated 63 people in the aftermath of tornadoes that devastated the Southeast, and about 12 people were sent to other hospitals, according to AL.com.

"We conduct disaster drills at least twice a year, and most times they involve a tornado because that's one of the most likely disaster scenarios we all face in Alabama," said John Atkinson, the medical center's marketing director. "Those certainly prepared us for the quick influx of patients.

"But no event in the past 50 years or so compares to what Lee County experienced," he said.

The Southeast was hit with multiple tornados over the weekend. Central Alabama had its first tornado warning in the early afternoon March 3, and the storms that followed resulted in at least 23 reported deaths in Lee County, as well as destruction in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, according to The New York Times.

The 340-bed East Alabama Medical Center is about 9 miles from Beauregard and about 20 miles from Smith Station, two Alabama communities where tornadoes hit.

AL.com reported that some physicians and part of the hospital's workforce were watching the weather and arrived at the medical center shortly before patients started arriving.

By the morning of March 4, four of the 63 patients treated at the medical center  remained hospitalized.


More articles on patient flow:

20 people to lose jobs as hurricane-wrecked hospital won't resume baby deliveries
Hawaii ambulance breaks down on way to call; patient dies at scene
Patient shoots physician at Florida hospital, authorities say



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