Medical personnel working through Hurricanes

Bay Medical post Hurricane Michael 2018.
Bay Medical post Hurricane Michael 2018.(WJHG)
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -As Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida, it ripped the roof off a hospital in Port Charlotte. According to CNN, staff at the hospital were able to move patients to a safe place but had to stay inside due to weather conditions outside during the storm.

Here in Bay County, Dr. Amir Haghighat said he knows what it is like to be working at a hospital during a hurricane. He said that the medical community has all sorts of disaster planning, including how to move patients safely to another hospital following a storm.

“In the days after Hurricane Michael, we had helicopters going up down, up down, just taking patients to nearby hospitals that were not impacted in that way by Hurricane Michael,” Dr. Haghighat, said. “So what happens is you have to have an evacuation plan for the patients to the nearest safe hospital setting where they are able to get their care. And it’s difficult, I mean if you do not have power and you have patients on ventilators you have to bag them, you have to get them from point A to point B to oxygenate them so that they can get alive and able to receive their ongoing care.”

Dr. Haghighat said during times like this is when health care workers put on their hero capes.

”I feel like if you watch enough tv about medical heroes and things like that these kinds of events make the heroes, or the heroes in everyday health care workers come out,” Dr. Haghighat, said. “I saw so many amazing things when I was here in Hurricane Michael in this community, with nurses, techs, officers, and all sorts of folks just literally bringing patients down stairwells and bring them to safety.”

Dr. Haghighat said that hospitals have meetings in advance prior to something like a hurricane. They develop teams and have a plan on how to safely move patients. This is because health care does not stop even during a natural disaster.