Hurricane Ian inundated a Florida hospital from above and below, storm surge inundating the lower-level emergency room while high winds tore off part of the fourth-floor roof of his intensive care unit, according to a doctor who works there. .
dr Birgit Bodine spent the night at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital in Port Charlotte, anticipating that the storm would get things busy, “but we didn’t anticipate that the fourth-floor roof would blow off,” she said.
On Wednesday, water gushed from above over the ICU, forcing staff to evacuate the hospital’s sickest patients, some of them on ventilators, to other floors. Staff members resorted to towels and plastic containers to try to clean up the soggy mess.
The medium-sized hospital has four floors, but patients were forced to stay on just two due to damage.
Bodine plans to spend another night in the hospital, when injuries from approaching storms could make things worse.
“Ambulances may be arriving soon and we don’t know where to place them in the hospital at the moment,” he said. “Because we are doubled and tripled.”
Despite the flooding, Bodine said patients have been mostly supportive and upbeat.
“For us, as much as everything is terrible and we’re exhausted … as long as our patients are doing well and no one ends up dying or having a bad outcome, that’s what matters,” Bodine said.