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Texas hospital closures, access restrictions and evacuations amid Harvey: 4 updates for Wednesday

Tropical Storm Harvey has devastated southeastern Texas and surrounding Gulf regions, with historic rainfall totals that have led to severe flooding and at least 30 deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to The New York Times.

Many hospitals and other regional medical facilities have been forced to take emergency measures to combat the effects of Harvey and protect their patients. Listed below are four recent developments as of Wednesday.

1. Closures. The following hospitals are currently closed:

-University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and its outpatient clinics are closed through at least Friday, according to the Houston Chronicle. However, patients who regularly receive care at MD Anderson are welcome to travel to Baton Rouge, La.-based Ochsner Medical Center, Baton Rouge Medical Center and Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center for treatment, according to The Advocate.

-Several sites in the Memorial Hermann network are closed, including its 149-bed Memorial Hermann Sugar Land facility, according to the hospital. Memorial Hermann Surgical Hospital – First Colony, Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center at Summer Creek and Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Spring are also closed, according to The Houston Press.

-The 49-bed Quentin Mease Hospital in Houston is closed, according to The Houston Press

-Texas Children's Hospital has closed outpatient clinics at its main campus, Woodlands and West Campus sites, though inpatient units at all three hospitals have been operational throughout the duration of the storm.

2. Restricted access. The following hospitals are operating under restricted access, meaning there are no visiting hours:

-Ben Taub Hospital in Houston

-Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston

3. Evacuation. Nearly 20 hospitals have evacuated a total of 1,500 patients. Ben Taub Hospital, one of Houston's largest safety-net hospitals, has abandoned plans to evacuate patients after attempts to do so were hampered by a series of delays and flooded roads. Sunday it announced its intention to evacuate its 350 patients, then lowered the scope to 60 patients Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle. It began evacuating its first five patients Monday evening, though only three reached their transfer destinations. Two patients had to return to Ben Taub after their ambulances encountered impassable roads.

4. Supplies. Ben Taub previously announced it was set to run out of food by Tuesday night, but received a partial food delivery Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. Local providers have also been clamoring for blood donations, which were already in short supply before the storm.

More Articles on Patient Flow:

Flooding closes MD Anderson, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land
How Hurricane Katrina impacted healthcare in New Orleans and what that may mean for Houston: 5 takeaways
HHS sets up medical shelter in Houston


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