Tulane Hospital CEO’s account of Katrina

This is a letter from the CEO of Tulane Hospital, Jim Montgomery.  I think they’re to be commended.  It’s long, so keep going into the extended entry.  And his post-script should be a wakeup call for all of us.

I thought it might be easier to compose an email to all of you at once
that
tells some of the story of the past few days.  First and foremost I
felt your
prayers and heard your concerns that were registered with
Donna and others
and they comforted me and kept me calm which was
essential in this time.

This storm as of noon Friday the 25th didn’t seem like it would be
much
of an event, but by 5pm things began to look different.  We met as
a
group on Saturday to begin our routine preparations for a hurricane.

Donna left for her brother’s home and I went home to put things
together
there.  I started to think what do I absolutely not want to lose in
case
the house would be swept away and the answer only revealed the photos of

the family thru the years so that and few clothes was all I took.

The
Storm:  God’s Natural World has an awesome power.  From the small
observation
windows from our tallest floors, we observed awnings being
blown off, a
blinding rain and a general sense if God’s ever angry we’re
going to lose
big.  Our first inspections revealed little damage.  A few
broken windows and
some roof damage but the building held up well.  In
fact, if you were in the
inner core of the facility you only vaguely
heard it.  We even walked around
late in the afternoon since there was
only limited flooding no worse than a
heavy thunderstorm.
Overconfident, we even stated we had absorbed the best
punch that nature
could throw and we seemed intact.

At 1:30 am on
Tuesday morning began the biggest crisis and challenge of
my life and in the
life of Tulane and no doubt New Orleans.  I was
awakened by my COO who told
me the water in the boiler room was rising a
foot an hour since midnight and
if it continued at that rate at best we
had only another two to three hours
before we would lose all power since
we already were on emergency power since
early Monday morning.  We had
only 7 ventilator patients whose lives would
be in jeopardy, and we had
to move fast to get them out.  We had no boat and
no helicopter pad.
Houston we have a problem.

[Read more...]

Jessica’s Well Lives!

They’re baaack: Jessica’s Well.  It’s about time.

Eject! Eject! Eject!: TRIBES

If only I could write like this: Eject! Eject! Eject!: TRIBES.

And, yes, I like to think I’m a sheepdog.  Woof.

Medical Insight from the Astrodome

via Code: the Web Socket.  Alwin has 5 days of communications from the medical director at the Astrodome, and it’s worth reading.  I have no idea why they’re out of order.  Maybe that’s how he got them.

I predict he’ll write a book when this is over, and it will be required reading by everyone in my specialty of Emergency Medicine.

The Corpus Callosum: It’s GRL Time!

GRL means, in this case. Grand Rounds 50: The Corpus Callosum: It’s GRL Time!.