Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thinking About Bellevue

Little did I know as I was writing that last post on Sunday that just a few days later some of the same docs I was listening to and learning from would end up evacuating their hospital. When I read about the desperate conditions at Bellevue Hospital in New York as the storm struck and the remarkable efforts to evacuate every one of those hundreds of patients---without any loss of life, to my knowledge---I was impressed and humbled.

Every hospital and institution theoretically is supposed to have emergency policies and procedures, and is supposed to run occasional disaster drills to make sure everyone is aware of them, but who ever really believes they'll be needed or used? Those kind of large scale, potential mass casualty events seem to horrible to think about or really imagine could happen. Until they do.

There's not much I can do from a distance, but from my brief contacts with the Bellevue docs I know that those seriously mentally ill patients and prisoners received the best care possible under the worst possible conditions.

Let's hope that when the storm clouds clear and the rubble is swept away, the hospital that re-emerges is a newer, better and brighter one. The patients and staff deserve it.
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Addendum from Dinah: there is an article on the Bellevue evacuation here