"We said, 'you can take care of your critically ill patients here.'' We gave them emergency privileges, and we put some of our staff there (in the PACU) to help liaison and show them where the blood tubes were and the specimen bags and how to get things to the lab."
"Our PACUs had all the appropriate monitoring equipment already set up."
The PACUs, traditionally used for surgical cases during the day, are empty at night. From Monday evening until about 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. Tuesday, 1,171-bed Mount Sinai absorbed more than 50 doctors and nurses from NYU Langone, as well as some 57 of 300 evacuated patients—a number that grew to 61 or 62 when several pregnant patients in labor gave birth after their arrival.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Mount Sinai was preparing to take more patients from other hospitals that discovered damage from superstorm Sandy, such as Bellevue Hospital, next door to NYU Langone.
One challenge that Mount Sinai elevated as a top priority was for all members of their clinical teams to "be very clear for each patient coming in, that everyone knew who the doctor is who is actually taking responsibility for each patient, whether it's a Mount Sinai physician or an NYU physician, and making sure the lines of communication and responsibility are crystal clear so that nothing falls through the cracks," Dupree explained.