Tamil Nadu floods: Prescription for calamity resilience

Hospitals respond to crisis despite deluge, counter blackout for three days.
Chennai: The sudden deluge, which affected the rich and the poor alike, also left the medical fraternity dazed — though not totally. Surmounting the difficulties, a few hospitals, including government hospitals, worked round-the-clock to cater to patients in the face of adversity and countered total blackout for three days from December 2.
The marooned Global Health City, for instance, sought prompt help and utilised boats to “evacuate” its patients to safer places. The Fortis Malar, overlooking the swelling Adyar River and the SI MS Hospital, Vadapalani, like a few other hospitals, escaped the fury of the floods and so did the four major city government hospitals. The hospitals responded to the crisis bravely to save patients.
When flooding started on the approach road to the Global Hospital at Perumbakkam, the hospital authorities realised that nothing could be done to stop rainwater from inundating their premises.
“We immediately sought help from officials and evacuated 40 critically ill patients to Kumaran Hospital, Poonamallee high road. A few children, including Basma, a liver transplant patient, were shifted to Child Trust Hospital. Some of the patients were shifted to Apollo, OMR, too,” admits Bhaskar Reddy, secretary Global CAMS.
“We had anticipated inundation and immediately formed the Calamity Assistance Medical Service (CAMS) to help our patients reach safe zones, which was our immediate priority,” he added.
Many stable patients among the nearly 150 in-patients were discharged. Teams with doctors and nursing assistants were formed to take care of patients evacuated to other hospitals, on a regular basis. “Our generator got submerged and the portable units were of little help due to water logging. Many of our staff took the risk to safely evacuate our patients. We will activate 100 teams to attend on patients at our health camps,” he added.
“Our management ensured that we had everything — water, food, diesel and medical staff, to meet the emergency. About 1,100 employees stayed back on Dec. 3 and attended on patients.
Luckily, our hospital was not flooded,” claims S. B. Pathmanaban, chief marketing officer, SIMS Hospital, Vadapalani.
The SRMC postponed elective surgeries for three days from Dec. 2 and had to tend to emergency surgeries. “We were apprehensive that the Porur lake would get breached and took up appropriate precautionary measures. We managed with a central kitchen.. there wasn’t much of rainwater,” said J. S. N. Murthy, vice chancellor, SRMC. The hospital even catered to patients evacuated from other hospitals.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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