Why Did NYU Langone's Emergency Generators Fail?
The agency published a Sentinel Event Alert in 2006, specifically addressing emergency electrical power system failures.
No one wants to beat up a hospital when they're down, of course, especially when the transfers have not resulted in obvious or apparent harm, even amid the chaos.
Other patient evacuations
And it's important to note that at least two other hospitals, Bellevue Hospital just next door to NYU Langone, and Long Beach Memorial Hospital, have evacuated patients to other hospitals due to similar infrastructure concerns, although under less hurried circumstances.
Hospital officials are well aware of quake destruction of Northridge Hospital in California, tornado damage to St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, and the deadly devastation from Hurricane Katrina to Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans.
Ironically, Kenneth Langone, the founder of Home Depot whose philanthropy in 2008 resulted in this large NYU medical facility changing its name to carry his, was being treated as a patient in the hospital at the time.
In an interview with Bloomberg News yesterday, Langone said: "We believed the machines would work, and we believed everything we were told about the scope and size of the storm. Do you think they’d have kept me in there if they thought I was going to be unsafe?"
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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