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Hosp Secur Saf Manage. 2001 Nov;22(7):5-8.

Dealing with the continuing challenges of natural disasters.

[No authors listed]


Tropical Storm Allison--which struck the Texas and Louisiana coasts in June 2000--killed 22 people, flooded more than 27,000 homes, and caused an estimated $2 billion in property damage in the Houston area alone. Among the hardest hit were some 12 hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, south of downtown Houston, the world's largest medical facility, which all experienced flooding and reduction of services to various degrees. (The medical complex of 42 member institutions also includes numerous academic buildings and research laboratories where nearly 35,000 lab animals drowned.) Two of the hospitals were forced to evacuate all patients and close after losing emergency power. Sixteen patients died at medical center facilities during the storm, but a team from the JCAHO reportedly found that the deaths were caused by the critical nature of their illnesses rather than the severe flooding that inundated basements and other areas of the medical center.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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