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e-Health Essentials Issues

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It’s a fact of life for more than 50 million Americans living along the nation’s Gulf and Atlantic coastlines from June 1 through November 30: Hurricanes.

But at New Hanover Regional Medical Center it’s a fact of life tolerated only by hours of detailed storm planning and preparation, including help from an essential hurricane-preparedness partner: You.

Your continued preparation and vigilance – like ours – is crucial in facilitating efforts that minimize damage, save lives and get a community like Wilmington and outlying areas back on its feet in the wake of one of nature’s most extreme storms.

Together, there’s no better combination during hurricane season.

At NHRMC, the faces of hurricane preparedness and planning are many – from hospital administrators who regularly rehearse hurricane disaster protocols to clinicians who coordinate in advance large-scale disaster medical care.

One face of hurricane preparedness that with its unmistakable hardware often rises above the rest is the Southeastern Regional Advisory Committee (SERAC) State Medical Assistance Team, which with help from a 53-foot tractor trailer, can deploy a 50-plus-bed mobile field hospital capable of treating 325 patients per day. NHRMC is the Level II Trauma Center and lead agency for SERAC.

 

“In the event of a hurricane, which can wreak havoc over a wide geography and impact countless lives, we have the unique ability to instantly mobilize an entire field hospital anytime, anywhere,” said Mark Bennett, Regional Manager of Communications and Hospital Emergency Preparedness. “Should a hurricane strike here, we’re highly prepared to treat all patients no matter their condition wherever they happen to be,” said Bennett.

Equipped with an 80-kilowatt generator, which provides enough electricity to run a full hospital, and equipment that can purify 1,600 gallons of water a day, the SMAT trailer can also become a

 

support facility for NHRMC or one of the region’s other hospitals.

“If one of the local facilities is devastated by a storm, and the infrastructure went offline or staff had to evacuate patients, we could set up right alongside their hospital,” Bennett said. “Their staff could operate in our tents, without losing a beat.”

With two extensively equipped trauma bays, a variety of board-certified specialists and surgeons on-call 24/7, and an operating room that can be immediately available, NHRMC’s Level II Trauma Center is an integral part of the hospital’s hurricane and disaster preparedness plan.

 



The 53-foot State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT) trailer can deploy a
50-plus-bed mobile field hospital capable of treating 325 patients per day.
In less than 4 hours multiple treatment tents can be erected that include an
emergency department, ICU, and inpatient services.

 

What YOU Can Do to Prepare:

 
 

THE BUZZ ON M.I.R.V.

WHAT: Major Incident Response Vehicle – NHRMC’s newest emergency services vehicle that can care for and transport up to 20 patients to the hospital in the event of a disaster.

WHY: Getting victims from a disaster scene to the hospital can be one of emergency personnel’s biggest challenges. The MIRV, equipped with technically-advanced, life-saving equipment, expedites this process, while ensuring continuity of medical care.

SAYS Barbara Pasztor, NHRMC’s vice president of emergency services: “The addition of a larger transport vehicle like the MIRV will save time and help us care for more patients. Because this vehicle can carry up to 20 patients and 6 attendants, we will be able to more efficiently evacuate in the event of a disaster.”

 

 

Stay Tuned
Listen for up-to-date storm information on radio and TV. Know the difference between a hurricane watch (conditions are possible) and hurricane warning (conditions are expected).

Have a Plan
Know where you’re going and how you’re getting there if evacuation is ordered. Friends’ homes not in the storm path, motels and shelters are good places. Don’t forget to take important contact information and other documents. For more planning tips, visit www.readync.com.

Think Basics
Have a disaster supply kit. Include food, water, flashlight with extra batteries, important medications, first aid kit, radio, cell phone, keys, tools, clothing, toiletries, vehicle fuel and cash.

Mom, Dad, the Next Door Neighbor
Make accommodations for elderly or infirm relatives and loved-ones. Hospitals, public health clinics and residential care facilities should not be considered primary drop-off points unless prior authorization is granted.

Pet Protection
Be sure you have a plan to keep your pets safe in the event of a hurricane. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you, or move them to an appropriate shelter. Make sure rabies and pet identification information is up to date.

 
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2131 S. 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401  |  910.343.7000