Sep 14, 2008

Voices of Ike - "Like the Cavalry Coming to Help"

10:10 pm, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 Houston cardiologist A. Tomas Garcia, MD

Well, the ER got busy as predicted. Boy did it. We went through the hospital and sent the well patients home to create space for the critical coming in. Cardiac arrests, hemo dialysis, chf patients, and the injured. We culled twice and now have just super sick folks in the hospital. The ER is packed. I mean packed. The kind that need admission and waiting for an ICU bed for treatment and care.

We called FEMA and next news you know, we had about 11 ambulances with appropriate staff to transfer the sick, ready for admission, to San Antonio. And they will be back to get some more if we have them. I'm sure this is happening in the other hospitals across the city. This really greatly helps and allows us to care for the ones coming in tomorrow. We have city water now with good pressure so all the toilets are clear, and the hospital is looking clean and sharp. We're still on generator power. The staff is holding up well and the docs are all helping in the usual way by caring for our patients. We're having the usual Code Blues.

We all saw through the ICU window the 11 ambulances coming down Richmond Ave with red lights flashing and all in convoy; wow, what a sight. With the city without power and lights it was very, very impressive. It was like the cavalry coming to help and boy, did we need them. They came from Riverside California; drove first to Dallas, then to San Antonio, then here to the command station here in Houston and then to our hospital ER with the assignment to clear out our sick to the San Antonio hospitals. Thank you, San Antonio and your hospitals, nurses, and of course you doctors. God love you. By clearing out our ER; we're able to care for more patients bright and early tomorrow.

The city is slowly coming to life and the people are starting to move around as the power and water are coming on. Business, stores, eating places are beginning to open. Hopefully, by the end of the week, we'll start to have things closer to normal. According to the reports we're receiving; some parts may take longer unfortunately. Some areas were severely damaged and flooded. Several of our staff have homes partly or fully destroyed or flooded. Yet, they still are commited to our patients and remain here.

Got another call, gotta go.

Tom

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