Last Updated Aug 28, 2017 9:11 PM EDT
Officials prepared Monday to evacuate one of the nation’s busiest trauma centers asthreatened the hospital’s supply of medicine and food.
A spokesman at Houston’s Office of Emergency Management said that all 350 patients at Ben Taub Hospital would be moved, hopefully within a day. Floodwater and sewage got into the basement of the hospital’s main building and affected pharmacy, food service and other key operations. “Our kitchen is shut down so we’re relying on dry foods” and have enough to last through dinner Tuesday, Bryan McLeod, a spokesman for the hospital’s parent company, Harris Health System, said Monday afternoon.had thwarted plans Sunday to move the patients to neighboring hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, a large medical complex southwest of downtown.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also canceled outpatient services, appointments and surgeries at all Houston-area locations through Tuesday, and told patients not to attempt to travel because of high water in the area of the medical complex. Patients who already had been admitted are receiving care as usual, a spokeswoman said.
Some cancer patients who travel to the renowned center for treatment from other parts of the country may have their plans disrupted due to Houston airport closures and flight cancellations that are expected to continue until at least Thursday.
Other hospitals also bore the brunt of the storm. As of Monday morning, San Antonio Fire Department firefighters had transferred about 800 hospital patients from Houston and other areas affected by Harvey, said department spokesman Woody Woodward. The city had an EMS convoy in Houston consisting of 12 workers, two ambulances and one am-bus — a “gigantic” ambulance with multiple beds, he said.
The situation at Ben Taub seemed the worst, and raised fears and memories of the dire straits at some New Orleans hospitals, where dozens of patients were trapped for days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Ben Taub, a large public hospital that cares for many of the city’s poor and uninsured, asked authorities for evacuation help on Sunday “but at this point we haven’t been able to transfer a single patient,” McLeod said. Harris operates two other medical facilities — Clinton East, a 50-bed nursing home whose residents were moved Friday to Ben Taub because of concerns Clinton East would…