On July 10, 2018, reports indicate that a construction worker hit an underground power line in Richmond, Virginia. While this type of accident may happen more than you know, this incident cut power to Chippenham Hospital, including both the main power source and backup generator. The hospital ordered the emergency relocation of 11 patients to sister hospitals due to their critical condition. While the power came back on at Chippenham Hospital later the same day, any such incident at a hospital puts all patients at serious risk of unnecessary harm. Moving a critically-ill patient requires significant preparation and attention. Often, such transport needs a mobile intensive care unit (ICU) and a team of critical care nurses ready to respond to any emergencies. Even with all the standard precautions, transporting critically ill or injured patients can result in life-threatening complications and additional harm. The risks increase for patients in less critical condition, as well. Anyone who is in the hospital needs medical attention, monitoring, and care. Nurses and doctors use a variety of machines and monitors to know when a patient’s vital signs drop and respond accordingly. Additionally, hospitals have specially-designed HVAC systems that help keep the environment sterile and hygienic to prevent bacteria and infections for already ill patients. Proper lighting is also necessary for medical professionals to perform even the most basic procedures. A power outage will affect all of these aspects of hospital care. When both the main power and generator fail, mistakes can occur in many areas of the hospital. If a patient is in active labor or delivery of a child, they cannot wait until the power comes back on. If someone requires an emergency c-section or another type of emergency surgery, surgeons cannot perform these procedures without proper sterilization, monitors, or lighting in operating rooms. Because Chippenham has 466 beds and only moved 11 patients, it means that up to 455 patients remained at risk in a hospital with no power.
Car Accident Checklist: Seven Things to Do After a Car Accident in Virginia
In Virginia, a car accident happens every five minutes. There are over 55,000 miles of state-maintained roads and…View Post >
5 Things to Do After a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault
If you have recently been in a car accident in Virginia, you might be unsure about what to…View Post >