Hospitals across the state gearing up for blizzard conditions

Getting ready for snowstorm started early for hospitals like Yale-New Haven.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – They are monitoring the path of the snowstorm at the command center of Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Critical decisions are made well before the weekend.

“Enough food, enough medical supplies, enough linen, all the things people take for granted, we were already working all weekend to make sure that it was here,” said Abe Lopman, Senior Vice President of Operations.

Outpatient appointments, as well as elective procedures, have been canceled. Patients have been notified.

“For those patients who were scheduled and who haven’t heard,” said Lopman. “Make sure they call their physicians, make sure they call their clinics, make sure they call the hospitals to verify that their appointments have been canceled.”

Staffing is a priority.

“In some places, we are already calling folks to make sure they can get here. In other places, we are allowing normal operations because we will be able to cover that,” said Lopman.

A reminder to stay off the roads so emergency medical personnel have easy access- to and from the hospital.

“We need to be sure that only those folks who need to be out on the roads, need to be out,” said Lopman.

Injuries from motor vehicle accidents in heavy snowfall are common in the emergency department.

“Sometimes you are thinking, oh I just need to run a small errand, or I’m just going from here to there, unfamiliar with the path. And unfortunately, there might be black ice underneath, you may not be as familiar with driving in snow conditions as you think,” said Emergency Physician Dr. Ambrose Wong.

Dr. Wong also sees an upsurge in heart attacks from shoveling snow.

“If you feel any distress. And so the most common symptoms of heart disease would be chest pressure in the front of the chest, shortness of breath, break out in a cold sweat. Those are concerning symptoms. And that I would say would be time for you to stop,” said Dr. Wong.

If symptoms persist, call 9-1-1.

Dr. Wong prescribes handling shovels and snowblowers with care.

“So you want to just be careful, you may be a little clumsier because you are using gloves, so you just want to handle all your equipment safely and as carefully as you possibly can,” said Dr. Wong.

Be sure to limit exposure to the cold temperatures as well.

Meantime, if there is a power outage, the hospital can go for days operating because it generates its own power.

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