Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital

Christine S. Cocanour, Steven J. Allen, Janine Mazabob, John W Sparks, Craig P. Fischer, Juanita Romans, Kevin P. Lally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hypothesis: Valuable lessons can be learned from the emergent evacuation of a large urban teaching hospital because of flooding. Design: Case report. Setting: Four hundred fifty-bed adult and 150-bed children's tertiary referral teaching hospital. Case Summary: Massive rainfall from tropical storm Allison caused extensive flooding. Emergency power came on at 1:40 AM. Complete power loss occurred at 3:30 AM. The decision to begin evacuation of patients was made at approximately 10:30 AM. All 575 patients were either discharged from the hospital (169 patients) or evacuated (406 patients) to 29 other facilities by both ambulance and helicopter by 3 PM the next day. Six deaths occurred, none of which could be attributed to the conditions created by the flooding. Conclusions: The lessons learned from this experience included the following: (1) flooding will occur in a flood plain; (2) electrical power outages are not necessarily temporary-begin evacuation; (3) appoint a triage officer from those available; (4) have a reliable in-house communication system not dependent on telephone lines or electricity; (5) have a reliable telephone system for contacting outside facilities; (6) have flashlights available on all units; (7) have battery-operated exit signs and stairway lights; (8) maximize use of volunteers when they are available and fresh; (9) maintain a paper record of all patient transfers; (10) coordinate loading of ambulances and helicopters for patient transfer; and (11) reassign staff as necessary to care for transferred patients. Emergent evacuation of a large, tertiary hospital requires extensive effort from both the hospital staff and the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1145
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Surgery
Volume137
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

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Urban Hospitals
Teaching Hospitals
Air Ambulances
Patient Transfer
Telephone
Tertiary Care Centers
Cyclonic Storms
Electricity
Triage
Volunteers
Patient Care
Emergencies
Communication
Light
Power (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Cocanour, C. S., Allen, S. J., Mazabob, J., Sparks, J. W., Fischer, C. P., Romans, J., & Lally, K. P. (2002). Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital. Archives of Surgery, 137(10), 1141-1145. https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.137.10.1141

Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital. / Cocanour, Christine S.; Allen, Steven J.; Mazabob, Janine; Sparks, John W; Fischer, Craig P.; Romans, Juanita; Lally, Kevin P.

In: Archives of Surgery, Vol. 137, No. 10, 01.10.2002, p. 1141-1145.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cocanour, CS, Allen, SJ, Mazabob, J, Sparks, JW, Fischer, CP, Romans, J & Lally, KP 2002, 'Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital', Archives of Surgery, vol. 137, no. 10, pp. 1141-1145. https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.137.10.1141
Cocanour CS, Allen SJ, Mazabob J, Sparks JW, Fischer CP, Romans J et al. Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital. Archives of Surgery. 2002 Oct 1;137(10):1141-1145. https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.137.10.1141
Cocanour, Christine S. ; Allen, Steven J. ; Mazabob, Janine ; Sparks, John W ; Fischer, Craig P. ; Romans, Juanita ; Lally, Kevin P. / Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital. In: Archives of Surgery. 2002 ; Vol. 137, No. 10. pp. 1141-1145.
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