PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Already ailing with strep throat and asthma, Aleeah Racette got sicker aback she bankrupt out a soggy, aged home afterwards Hurricane Michael, so she approved advice at the hospital breadth she began life. She was abashed by what she saw there.
The exoteric bank of Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City is missing from allotment of the building, and huge aperture tubes absorbed to admirers draft air into high floors through holes breadth windows acclimated to be. Plywood signs with blooming spray-painted belletrist point to the access of the emergency room, the alone allotment of the 323-bed hospital still operating.
“I’ve never apparent annihilation like this before,” Racette, 20, said Thursday in a cracked voice. “I was built-in in this hospital.”
Medical casework in the Florida Panhandle are still on activity abutment added than a anniversary afterwards Hurricane Michael.
Panama City’s two above hospitals, Bay Medical and the 216-bed Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, still aren’t acceptance patients. Alone emergency allowance casework are accessible at either facility. Patients with the best austere needs are actuality beatific to added hospitals by ambulance or helicopter.
Both hospitals are accepting advice from Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, which set up air-conditioned tents in parking lots and accomplish article like the aggressive acreage hospitals depicted in the old television alternation “M*A*S*H.” Besides the affliction they’d accommodate on a archetypal basis, like alleviative Racette’s strep throat, doctors and nurses additionally are alleviative abounding bodies with storm-related injuries and bloom conditions.
“We’re seeing cuts, we’re seeing bruises and fractures,” said Martha Crombie, a backer for Bay Medical Sacred Heart who was aureate in from Nashville, Tennessee, to advice with hospital communications.
Back injuries are common, she said, as are bodies who accept abiding illnesses and are out of medication. The hospital is bushing prescriptions and accouterment a account of accessible pharmacies.
Crombie said Bay Medical Sacred Heart and its added ability in Panama City Beach accept advised an boilerplate of 200 bodies a day — a cardinal she expects to acceleration aback a canton alarm is lifted. She said beneath patients access afterwards the nightly alarm takes effect, which does accept an absolution for bodies with medical emergencies.
Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center agent Brad Palmer said the ability had advised 560 emergency allowance patients in the anniversary aback the storm.
While they aren’t acceptance patients, the hospitals are stabilizing bodies with austere injuries or affliction and alteration them to hospitals alfresco the heavily damaged areas.
Some bodies go to the alfresco medical tents, which is breadth Racette was advised at Bay Medical Sacred Heart. Tony Averbuch, who leads the aggregation of government workers accouterment affliction alfresco the hospital, said business is steady.
“Right now we’re seeing amid 80 and 100 bodies a day at this site, but we’re one of abounding sites that are beyond Florida,” he said.
The team’s assignment fills a analytical charge for patients and the medical community, as Crombie said Bay Medical Sacred Heart is still aggravating to analysis on the abundance of its own workers. Of 1,700 employees, she said, the hospital has heard from alone about half, abounding of whom acceptable absent buzz account and internet affiliation or abandoned because of the storm.
Hospital admiral did a helicopter bout with employees’ homes mapped out. “It was abrupt and eye-popping,” Crombie said.
Conditions are improving, but it’s cryptic aback breadth hospitals ability resume accustomed operations. Cleanup crews swarmed Bay Medical Sacred Heart on Thursday, the aforementioned day it regained power. The baptize additionally is aback on, alike admitting it’s not yet safe to drink.
“We’re bagging baptize fountains appropriate now. It’s not accessible yet, but it’s coming.” Crombie said.
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