Why Did NYU Langone's Emergency Generators Fail?

Cheryl Clark, November 1, 2012

Expect an onslaught of sharp questions for hospital chiefs on why backup generators for 705-bed NYU Langone Medical Center failed on Monday, necessitating a helter-skelter evacuation of fragile patients despite ample warnings of Hurricane Sandy barreling with colossal force toward the Northeast.

"You know, we were assured, we being the city, that the hospitals within Zone A had capacity to get patients on vents (ventilators) out before the storm, stop taking in anything that was not an emergency procedure, and that they had sufficient backup generators," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told CNN's Piers Morgan during Tuesday night's broadcast. "That was the representation they made to the city."

"Why didn't that happen at [this] very significant institution?" she asked. "This is not a small neighborhood hospital...I think there are obviously enormous questions that NYU needs to answer."

Moments earlier, Morgan lobbed some of his own hard questions during a testy exchange with Andrew Rubin, NYU Langone's vice president of clinical affairs.

"How could a busy New York hospital have its backup generators fail when it's had a week at least to prepare for what everyone was saying was going to be a storm of huge magnitude?" Morgan asked.


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