I worked an afternoon shift in my ED today, and the buzz was all about the New Orleans transfers we’d received, and continued to receive.
Our joint got about 12 that I’m aware of, with a very high percentage being dialysis patients and in need of that service. It was entirely appropriate that they were sent to us, as we’re one of a few hospitals in the area with inpatient dialysis services available. Our nephrologists didn’t bat an eye, and worked hard to get them taken care of.
The patients were flown into the JRC Fort Worth (used to be Carswell AFB), and then a team from the county hospital and the county EMS director started divvying them up.
The patients I cared for showed what you’d expect in a debilitated, chronically ill person with no adequate sanitation for 3 days. All but one showed up with their inpatient hospital chart (in the binder), and one had not just that but prior charts dating back several years!
The staff, who would gripe even if struck with a new stick, were quite remarkably compassionate and there were no harsh statements made about the sending facilities’ care.
Another flight was due in this evening, but I left before that batch of patients arrived.
A moment of levity in all this: one patient, evacuated with just a gown and a chart arrived with a bottle in hand: a bottle of Tabasco sauce. When asked, yes, it was the patients’ just to make sure it was available for meals.
That should prove interesting for the hospital dietitians.
And now: where in the world are all these cities and hospitals going to put these new patients with chronic illnesses? My place routinely holds admitted patients in the ED hallways. There are no empty hospitals waiting for new patients.