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J Emerg Med. 2007 Jul;33(1):39-46. Epub 2007 Jun 5.

The impact of a series of hurricanes on the visits to two central Florida Emergency Departments.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


We analyzed the impact of three consecutive hurricanes in 2004 on two central Florida Emergency Department (ED) patient volumes and types of presentations. Data were extracted from the hospital database and compared to the previous year. At both EDs visits dropped significantly on the day of all three hurricanes compared to 2003. The decrease in patient volume was even greater during the second and third hurricane compared to the first one. Once weather conditions improved, a dramatic rise in patient census was noted. During the aftermath of the first hurricane a significantly higher number of patients with injuries and carbon monoxide (CO) intoxications was seen, as well as ED visits due to lack of oxygen, electricity or hemodialysis. During the aftermath of a hurricane, EDs should be staffed and equipped to treat greater numbers of patients with acute injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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