Daytona Beach, FL- Hurricane Matthew brought a flood of emergency cases to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach and most of them came after the storm had passed and cleanup began. Kevin Captain, Trauma Program Manager/EMS Liason at Halifax Health, says the hospital is seeing injuries including people falling from roofs as they clean up and chainsaw accidents as residents work to clear debris.
Due to the sharp uptick in emergency cases, triage tents are now set up in the hospital parking lot. Captain says the hospital is working with the Florida Department of Health and has the State Medical Response Team (SMART team) set up in tents outside the emergency department. The idea is that the team, Captain says, helps “decongest the higher volume we’re experiencing at the emergency department.” The SMART team now at Halifax is out of Orlando’s Region 5 and consists of nurses, paramedics, physicians, critical care, trauma and emergency medicine physicians as well as physicians assistants in what Captain describes as a kind of “disaster set-up” to help Halifax deal with the extra number of injuries and cases related to the hurricane’s aftermath. Captain says he expects the SMART team to remain at Halifax for the next few days until the case load eases.
Captain says before and during the storm, Halifax housed over 50 doctors and their families, 800 team members, and 170 pets. The hospital saw a surge of patients after three other hospitals had to close during the storm and many team members volunteered 24-7 to help.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Captain.
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