Local hospitals plan to take in evacuated patients, provide care at shelters

Augusta University's Critical Event Preparedness and Response team is loading up trucks with...
Augusta University's Critical Event Preparedness and Response team is loading up trucks with medical and personal supplies to bring the Westside High School shelter. (Source: WRDW/WAGT)(WRDW)
Published: Sep. 2, 2019 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Monday, September 2, 2019

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- When it comes to evacuees coming to our area, emergency officials must consider those with medical conditions.

Augusta University's Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPaR) team says most people will actually receive their medical care in the shelters.

Joe Webber and his emergency response team at Augusta University have been loading up trucks full of wheelchairs, hygiene kits, blankets, pillows, privacy blankets, and even oxygen tanks to take to shelters.

He says his team prepares for events like Hurricane Dorian all year long, not just the week before.

However, not everyone can be adequately cared for in a shelter. Children's Hospital of Georgia is expecting four Neonatal Intensive Care patients, and University Hospital is expecting five. All of those babies are being transferred from Savannah Memorial Hospital.

Ruth Wilson with CHOG's NICU says nurses from Savannah will also come with those babies to help care for them.

"You want to do everything you can because it's horrible to be displaced from your home. and then to have a sick baby and have to be displaced? That's just a whole level of stress that I can't even imagine," she said.

Taking in extra babies means creating extra space - but Wilson says its a task the hospital is prepared for and familiar with.

"We are used to being able to expand if we need more beds for our babies. Sometimes, the nurseries that we have fill up, so we're used to expanding," said Wilson.

University Hospital is also preparing to take in 51 nursing home patients and two adult inpatients as well.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and even student volunteers will be at the shelters to help evacuees with their needs.

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