Sandy Created Perfect Storm in Area Emergency Rooms
Kristen Lawton, Director of the Mary and David Boies Emergency Department at Northern Westchester Hospital, saw an “absolute increase in patients and activity as a result of the storm – for all kinds of concerns and for all ages, from those who were unable to see their physicians for simple follow-up appointments to patients who were supposed to have casts removed to patients needing immediate care.”
Lawton added that, in addition to storm-related injuries such as those sustained from falling debris, the emergency room began seeing patients who were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators that had been running indoors. That, she said, was consistent with those of other emergency departments in the region.
“When something like this happens again,” she said, “People need to remember to put their generators outside their homes.”
Although NWH never lost power, the facility did, said Lawton, “Move to generator power for some time.” And staff, she said decided to cancel all elective surgeries during the brunt of the crisis.
In addition, Lawton said many hospital staff-members left their families to take on the challenge of caring for more patients and fewer regular staff, many of whom were unable to travel to the hospital during and directly following the storm.
“It was amazing to see everyone rise to the occasion,” she said.
Take a virtual tour of the Emergency Department at Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, New York
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