Texas Hospitals Evacuated As Patients Left Without Heat And Water In Arctic Cold Snap
Patients being treated at two Texas hospitals have had to be evacuated, after the extreme cold weather left them without water or power.
Both St David’s South Austin Medical Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center, in Austin, have been forced to relocate patients to other hospitals for treatment.
The medical centres, like millions of homes, have been left without electricity, meaning keeping warm during the unprecedented storms has been incredibly difficult.
St David’s hospital houses slightly fewer than 300 patients, however freezing temperatures have led to difficulties with the facility’s boiler, leading to a complete lack of water pressure and no heat.
Meanwhile, other hospitals have been hit with similar issues; some of which have been unable to flush toilets, and therefore having to transport human waste out of the facilities in rubbish bins, as per KVUE.
Officials are now working hard to try and get patients to other facilities for care, or transported home where possible.
Temperatures have plummeted to as low as -18°C in Texas; the lowest temperatures seen in the southern state in more than 30 years.
Many families have been left freezing with no electricity or heating to keep warm, which has sadly resulted in a number of fatalities.
In addition to hypothermia and other cold-related illnesses, a worrying number of patients have been admitted to Texas hospitals with carbon monoxide poisoning, as a result of using generator, BBQs and car engines to try and keep warm in the deep freeze.
‘This is an unprecedented winter event, so desperate times call for desperate measures,’ Dr Samuel Prater, from the Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, told NPR.
‘These are folks with the best of intentions who are just feeling desperate and trying to get themselves warm – more importantly, trying to get their children warm – and resorting to unusual means where they’ll bring in a barbecue pit from outside, use their stovetop or use a campfire grill; anything they can do to try to get warm.’
He added: ‘And through all these mechanisms, we’re seeing folks poisoned with – it’s a silent gas. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You don’t know that you’re getting poisoned until you start to feel sick.’
Meanwhile, in homes where water is accessible, residents are being warned to boil their water before consuming it, after the storm compromised filtration systems.
Concerns for the safety of millions of Texans are now growing, with more snow forecast in the week.
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