Hospitals Cancel Services, Add Staff in Preparation for Hurricane Sandy

Hospitals are canceling some services and adding staff as they brace for a likely increased volume of patients due to Hurricane Sandy.

State Island (N.Y.) University Hospital is relocating critically-ill patients on ventilators and discharging as many non-acute patients as possible, according to a Staten Island Advance report. The hospital is also reducing services: Elective surgeries and clinical appointments have been canceled through Tuesday, and outpatient and administrative offices are shutting down.

Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton, N.J., is preparing for a deluge of new and diverted patients, especially if State Island University Hospital is forced to shut down completely as Hurricane Sandy develops. Richmond officials said that during Hurricane Irene, they learned "it may well be the only hospital in operation during Hurricane Sandy," according to an official in the Staten Island Advance report.

Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, N.J., is planning to supplant a mobile medical center on high ground in two locations — Secaucus and West New York, according to a Jersey Journal report.

Nearby, Jersey City Medical Center has arranged for extra staff members to stay over from Monday morning throughout the day. The hospital is providing sleeping quarters and parking outside of low-lying areas, according to the Jersey Journal report. It has also organized a command center on its third floor, which will be in constant contract with the governor's office and other local municipalities.

A spokeswoman for Hudson Holdco, which owns Bayonne (N.J.) Medical Center, Hoboken (N.J.) University Medical Center and Christ Hospital in Jersey City, N.J., said hospital staff have "topped off fuel for generators, topped off all medical supplies and reviewed all vulnerable electronic equipment and implemented plans to protect that equipment," according to the report.

More Articles on Hospitals and Crisis Management:

Weathering the Storm: 8 Necessities for Hospital Emergency Plans
Report: U.S. Hospitals Improved Disaster Preparedness
Communicating a Hospital Crisis: Best Practices for 4 Scenarios

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