Friday, September 2, 2005

Doctors Seek Help As Food, Power Low

From RedNova:

Doctors at two desperately crippled hospitals in New Orleans called The Associated Press on Thursday morning pleading for rescue, saying they were nearly out of food and power and had been forced to move patients to higher floors to escape looters...

Helicopter crews evacuated 400 to 600 patients Thursday, but 1,000 or 1,500 others remained, said Richard Zuschlag, president and CEO of Acadian Ambulance Service.

Earlier, McSwain described horrific conditions in his hospital.

"There is no food in Charity Hospital. They're eating fruit bowl punch and that's all they've got to eat. There's minimal water," McSwain said.

"Most of their power is out. Much of the hospital is dark. The ICU (intensive care unit) is on the 12th floor, so the physicians and nurses are having to walk up floors to see the patients..."

"The physicians and nurses are doing an incredible job, but there are patients laying on stretchers on the floor, the halls were dark, the stairwells are dark. Of course, there's no elevators. There's no communication with the outside world," he said.

"We're afraid that somehow these two hospitals have been left off ... that somehow somebody has either forgotten it or ignored it or something, because there is no evidence anything is being done..."

"Hospitals are trying to evacuate," said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan, spokeswoman at the city emergency operations center. "At every one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters come in, people are shooting at them. There are people just taking pot shots at police and at helicopters, telling them, 'You better come get my family...' "

In Houston, 60 doctors and nurses worked in a makeshift clinic in a hangar at Ellington Field, quickly examining evacuees from Gulf Coast cities before sending them to hospitals or releasing them to family members.

"We've seen patients who've recently had transplants, were on ventilators, had serious infections, nursing home patients, patients with pneumonia, patients who've not had kidney dialysis for a week," said Dr. J. Kalavar, director of the patient reception team at Ellington. "Every one of them is anxious and exhausted."

Theadore Hunter and his mother, Henrietta, were among the evacuees. He said they spent two days on the roof of their flooded apartment complex before they were rescued Wednesday afternoon by a helicopter. They were then taken to New Orleans' airport, where they were loaded with other survivors into a military cargo plane Thursday morning...

Technorati Tags: Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, Charity Hospital, Natural Disasters

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