Among the barrage of disturbing scenes and stories from last night’s horrific Hurricane Sandy, the one that gutted me the most was hearing that NYU Langone Medical Center had lost power and needed to evacuate more than 200 patients, including little ones from its Neo-Natal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care units. NYU Hospital is located at First Avenue and 34th Street in Manhattan, where extensive flooding from the East River occurred.
That’s 9 floors down…in the dark…with sick babies and kids…emerging on to flooded streets. CBS News is reporting that 20 of the evacuated were newborns, and four of those babies were on ventilators. To keep them breathing, a nurse walked beside another nurse holding the baby, manually squeezing airs into their lungs for the long walk down.
NICU patients were taken to other city hospitals. Although there’s no update on the condition of the transferred patients, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there have been no storm-related fatalities at hospitals.
I met some of the NYU Medical Center staff when I was hospitalized there for pre-term labor and my son's birth, and met even more when he spent time in the NICU. I already thought you were pretty amazing, but now everyone knows you’re heroes.