Florida hospitals evacuate patients, close down ahead of Hurricane Irma: 8 things to know

As Hurricane Irma barrels toward the Florida coast, hospitals in its path began evacuating patients and announcing closures this week, according to CNN.

Here are eight things to know about how hospitals are preparing for Irma's landfall.

1. Key West, Fla.-based Lower Keys Medical Center began evacuating patients Sept. 6. Gadsden (Ala.) Regional Medical Center will accept the transfer patients. The Key West hospital will close Sept. 8 at 7 a.m., according to the Miami Herald.

2. Miami-based Mercy Hospital began evacuating more than 200 patients on Sept. 6 and simultaneously closed their emergency room to new patients. Ft. Lauderdale-based HCA East Florida will take in the evacuated patients.

3. Marathon, Fla.-based Fishermen's Hospital began discharging as many patients as possible and transferred patients in need of care to other hospitals in the Baptist Health System, which is based in Jacksonville. Fishermen's Hospital closed Sept. 7 at 7 a.m.

4. Tavernier, Fla.-based Mariners Hospital discharged patients and transported patients that needed further care to hospitals in the San Antonio-based Baptist Health System. Mariners Hospital will close Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

5. Miami-based Jackson Health System will close its primary care centers and ambulatory care centers Sept. 8. The health system's hospitals will remain open, but hospital officials will continue to monitor the storm as it approaches.

6. The University of Miami Health System closed its ambulatory clinics and canceled outpatient services Sept.7, although dialysis and cancer treatments will continue until Sept. 8. Its affiliated hospitals are scheduled to remain open.

7. Miami-based Nicklaus Children's Hospital will cancel minor procedures and elective surgeries starting Sept. 8 until the storm passes.

8. Central Florida Hospitals, Orlando (Fla.) Health and Florida Hospital in Orlando, are preparing to receive an influx of patients by stocking up on gallons of water, ensuring backup generators are working and reassuring patients the hospital will remain fully staffed.

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