Mobile ER helping out Long Island Hospital damaged in Sandy

December 1, 2012 2:55:08 PM PST
It has been just over a month since Hurricane Sandy slammed into our area, and several hospitals that were impacted are still not fully operational.

Long Beach Medical Center is one of those hospitals, but it is still managing to see patients with the help of a mobile emergency unit on loan from a hospital in New Jersey.

(The storm) took out the boiler plant two of our emergency generators essential supply department laundry kitchen electrical distribution systems," said Douglas Melzer, CEO of Long Beach Medical Center.

But now across the street is this temporary ER. Two tents and 2 trailer trucks make up this mobile hospital. The first tent is triage. The medical staff figures out how serious your condition is.

In the tent is fast track the minor treatment area. "We can treat cuts and contusion we can treat lacerations we can provide suturing here we can splint and cast on the side," said Dr. Williamson.

One man there was getting stitches while our Eyewitness News cameras were on site. He cut his hand while trying to fix his damaged boiler.

Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Dawn Williamson says people with a more serious illness are sent to the trailer unit. It's a 7 bed full service emergency department.

"We have X-ray technology ,ultrasound, a pretty capable lab," she says.

The mobile emergency room is provided by Hackensack University Medical Center. Their team also synced the digital medical records with the main hospital. The doctors and nurses on board are now available 24 hours a day for adults and children

The CEO of Long Beach Medical Center told says they hope to re open the hospital in March of next year.

In the meantime, outpatient clinics and mental health services will reopen in the next couple weeks at temporary office locations, not at the main hospital.


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