marooned doctors plead "please help us" 
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 marooned doctors plead "please help us"


Marooned doctors plead 'Please help us'

Staff members and patients await evacuation from
Memorial Medical Center
in New Orleans.

(AP) -- Doctors at two desperately crippled hospitals
in New Orleans
called The Associated Press Thursday morning pleading
for rescue, saying
they were nearly out of">food and power and had been
forced to move
patients to higher floors to escape looters.

"We have been trying to call the mayor's office, we
have been trying to
call the governor's office ... we have tried to use
any inside pressure
we can. We are turning to you. Please help us," said
Dr. Norman McSwain,
chief of trauma surgery at Charity Hospital, the
largest of two public

Charity is across the street from Tulane University
Medical Center, a
private facility that has almost completed evacuating
more than 1,000
patients and family members, he said.

No such public resources are available for Charity,
which has about 250
patients, or University Hospital several blocks away,
which has about
110 patients.

"We need coordinated help from the government,"
McSwain said.

He described horrific conditions.

"There is no">food in Charity Hospital. They're eating
fruit bowl punch
and that's all they've got to eat. There's minimal
water," McSwain said.

"Most of their power is out. Much of the hospital is
dark. The ICU
(intensive care unit) is on the 12th floor, so the
physicians and nurses
are having to walk up floors to see the patients."

Dr. Lee Hamm, chairman of medicine at Tulane
University, said he took a
canoe from there to the two public hospitals, where he
also works, to
check conditions.

"The physicians and nurses are doing an incredible
job, but there are
patients laying on stretchers on the floor, the halls
were dark, the
stairwells are dark. Of course, there's no elevators.
There's no
communication with the outside world," he said.

"We're afraid that somehow these two hospitals have
been left off ...
that somehow somebody has either forgotten it or
ignored it or
something, because there is no evidence anything is
being done."

Hamm said there was relief Wednesday as word traveled
University Hospital that the National Guard was coming
to evacuate them,
but the rescue never materialized.

"You can imagine how demoralizing that was," he said.

Throughout the entire city, the death, destruction and
deepened even as the hurricane waters leveled off.
(Watch a report on
the scenes of death and despair on the streets of New
Orleans -- 4:36)

"Hospitals are trying to evacuate," said Coast Guard
Lt. Cmdr. Cheri
Ben-Iesan, spokesman at the city emergency operations
center. "At every
one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters
come in people
are shooting at them. There are people just taking pot
shots at police
and at helicopters, telling them, 'You better come get
my family."'

Richard Zuschlag, president of Acadian Ambulance
Service Inc., described
the chaos at a suburban hospital.

"We tried to airlift supplies into Kenner Memorial
Hospital late last
evening and were confronted by an unruly crowd with
guns, and the pilots
refused to land," he said.

"My medics were crying, screaming for help. When we
tried to land at
Kenner, my pilots got scared because 100 people were
on the helipad and
some of them had guns. He was frightened and would not

Zuschlag said 65 patients brought to the roof of
another city hospital,
Touro Infirmary, for evacuation Wednesday night spent
the night there.
The hospital's generator and backup generator had
failed, and doctors
decided it was safer to keep everyone on the roof than
carry fragile
patients back downstairs.

"The hospital was so hot that with no rain or
anything, they were better
off in the fresh air on the roof," he said.

When patients have been evacuated, where to take them
becomes the next
big decision.

"They're having to make strategic decisions about
where to send people
literally in midair," said John Matessino, president
of the Louisiana
Hospital Association. "It's a very difficult thing to
prioritize when
they're all a priority."

Knox Andress, an emergency nurse who is regional
coordinator for a
federal emergency preparedness grant covering the
state, said it's
impossible to underestimate the critical role
hospitals are playing for
anyone left in the city.

"They're running out of their medications, they're
running out of money.
They're having social issues and where do they go?
They go to the
hospital. The hospital is the backbone of the
community because the
lights are always on," he said.

When hospitals can't take care of people and the
rescuers need rescued,
there's no social fabric left, Andress said.

Hospitals weren't the only facilities with troubles.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, who has been
working with search and
rescue, confirmed that 30 people died at a nursing
home in St. Bernard
Parish and 30 others were being evacuated. He did not
give any further

AP fairuse

Tue, 19 Feb 2008 06:42:01 GMT
 marooned doctors plead "please help us"
Complete FDA approved {*filter*} Guide :-
http://www.***.com/ {*filter*}-guide/index.asp

Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:17:35 GMT
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