Exhausted healthcare personnel worked through the night to evacuate NYU's Langone Medical Center after heavy flooding from Hurricane Sandy caused the hospital to lose power.
As Hurricane Sandy barreled through the East Coast Monday, New York City took quite a hit. And, even with a backup generator, NYU Langone in downtown Manhattan lost its power around midnight, a nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Jeffrey Young and Catherine Pearson of The Huffington Post. Medical staff distributed flashlights, then teams of nurses, respiratory therapists and some physicians proceeded to evacuate 260 patients on "med sleds," at a pace of about one patient every 15 minutes.
“The evacuation continued all night," Lorinda Klein, an NYU spokeswoman, told The Huffington Post. “It was very slow and methodical.”
Among the patients evacuated, reports ABC News, were 20 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit. Because the hospital's respirators for infants do not have extensive backup batteries, each of the infants required extra attention from nurses at the hospital.
At least four babies had to be carried to a waiting ambulance down nine flights of stairs while medical staff "breathed" for the infant by manually squeezing a bag to drive oxygen into the lungs.
Dr. Andrew Brotman, senior vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and strategy at the hospital, described the process to CNN as "labor-intensive," and "extremely difficult."
But, he continued, "Everybody's digging in and doing what they have to do."
Editor's Note: Initial reports conflicted as to which staff members handled the evacuation and manual respiration for the infants. A representative from NYU Langone Medical Center has confirmed to HuffPost that the personnel involved consisted of nurses, respiratory therapists and some physicians; this article has been amended to reflect the new information.