188 certified beds
The facility may open in a week. Some services are being delivered at the hospital’s affiliated clinics (e.g., critical care, vaccinations).
No structural damage. Only a handful of windows were broken. Relatively minor remediation efforts are underway to address a mold problem in an auditorium and to enhance overall air quality. Building exterior appears pristine and untouched by either hurricane or flooding. In fact, flood waters did not reach the hospital’s property.
Patients, staff, and their families evacuated by Blackhawk helicopter and by motor vehicle with police escort to Baton Rouge. Extensive emergency plans appear to have worked well, as the hospital and its patients and staff weathered the hurricane without incident. The decision to evacuate appears to have been based primarily on the belief that looting and other criminal behavior was becoming increasingly problematic in the surrounding residential area. While the hospital was without a security force for approximately 18 hours after evacuation, the facility was neither looted nor vandalized. Professional security was brought in to provide a presence that would discourage criminal activities on the hospital site 24/7, to maintain the safety of those individuals involved in the hospital’s clean-up, and also to control the flow of people in and out of the hospital.
As is the case with at least a few New Orleans hospitals, Children’s Hospital is expected to open and return to its previous level of activity as soon as possible. Critical to the hospital’s recovery is city-wide 911 service.
Submitted by Lucy Arendt and Daniel Hess
October 5, 2005