Bellevue Hospital evacuates 500 patients


Military personnel aid during an evacuation of Bellevue Hospital October 31, 2012 in New York City. The hospital had been operating on backup generators since losing power during Hurricane Sandy but had to be evacuated once the extent of the damage became clear.


Allison Joyce

Bellevue Hospital, the flagship of New York's public hospital system and one of the city's major trauma centers, was being evacuated Wednesday after operating on backup generators throughout the worst of Hurricane Sandy. 

Bellevue, located along the East River in Manhattan, was evacuating at least 500 patients as of Wednesday afternoon; CNN was reporting that 700 patients were being evacuated, with most of those in the most serious condition already relocated to other hospitals. 

"We are in the process of finding beds to move these patients now," Bloomberg said in a press conference on Tuesday, CBS News reported

Several area hospitals, including The Mount Sinai Hospital and St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, are helping with the evacuation and have agreed to take on some of the displaced patients, Reuters reported

Coney Island Hospital, another New York public hospital located in Brooklyn, was also evacuated on Wednesday, ABC News reported. One of its generators was still functional, though the other had flooded during the storm.

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Seventeen nursing homes and the Manhattan Veterans Hospital were also evacuated, New York Daily News reported

Bellevue is just a few blocks away from NYU's Langone Hospital, which evacuated over 200 patients manually during the storm. 

"What they realize is that their emergency generators are not continuing to work well," said CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta of Bellevue. "It can be very challenging ... even to transfer them within the hospital from one floor to the next. It's a very coordinated process. You always plan for the worst-case scenario. Everything from a patient's heart rate to their body temperature can change."

A nurse at the hospital put it a little bit more starkly. 

"It's Katrina-esque in there," she told ABC News.

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