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September 3, 2005

Hospitals Being Evacuated, Nursing Homes Full of Dead Victims

The evacuations came in the nick of time for several hospitals, where doctors had been working by flashlight and helping patients breathe with manual ventilators, waiting helplessly for news from the outside. Some staff members were so hungry and dehydrated that they were reported to be feeding themselves intravenous sugar solutions.

Although helicopters had delivered food and water to some hospitals, it was limited and rationed.

from "Grim Triage for Ailing and Dying at a Makeshift Airport Hospital," by Felicity Barringer and Donald G. McNeil, Jr. in NYT
With the major hospitals nearly emptied, emergency services turned their attention to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other critically stranded facilities. But the news was not good. Dispatchers at Acadian received word from Coast Guard divers that there were no survivors at a nursing home in St. Bernard Parish. Rescue workers found only bodies.

"We got another nursing home call, in New Orleans, where we were told there were 30 patients, and when we got there, there were 30 in body bags lined up outside," said Kevin Smith, spokesman for Acadian in Lafayette.

from "At the Hospitals: 'There Was Real Heroism,' Workers Rescue, Tend to Thousands," by Dafna Linzer and Peter Slevin in WaPo

Posted by cj at September 3, 2005 9:14 AM


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