- Sarasota Memorial Hospital states that its system of health facilities has seen a record number of patients following the landfall of Hurricane Ian
- Sarasota Memorial’s two main campuses — Sarasota and Venice — remained in operation throughout the storm due to backup power generators
- The hospitals took in evacuated patients from other medical centers, allowing for around-the-clock medically dependent patients to continue receiving care
- Once storm elements subsided, county officials worked with Sarasota Memorial to construct a 30-bed tent facility to help handle the influx of patients
Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) stated this week that its system of facilities saw record numbers of patients through Hurricane Ian’s landfall. The hospital was one of the few health centers in the area to remain operational amid rising storm surges and powerful winds.
SMH notes that its flagship acute-care hospital and emergency trauma center in Sarasota, as well as its 110-bed acute-care hospital in Venice, were kept operational due to backup generators.
Because of this, the health centers provided shelter for nearly 2,500 staff and physicians who served on the health system’s hurricane response team, catering to more than 700 patients.
“We are incredibly grateful to our entire team. Once again, our physicians and staff stepped up to meet the most challenging circumstances, leaving their families and homes behind to care for and support our patients and each other before, during, and after the storm,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder. “It is truly humbling to see their dedication and commitment, despite their own losses and hardships. We also are thankful for the help of our local, state, and federal partners and other hospitals around Florida. Together, we all are working 24/7 to provide care for all who need it, and support those who need assistance following Ian’s devastating impact.”
During the hurricane, SMH sheltered in place, allowing staff to care for medically dependent people that local emergency management officials brought to the hospital for shelter.
Due to hurricane damage, most hospitals in close proximity of Sarasota were evacuated and closed for several days.
“Sarasota Memorial’s Sarasota and Venice campuses have seen record numbers of patients streaming into their emergency care centers, and have worked closely with emergency management officials and hospitals around the state to manage the influx,” the hospital said in a news statement.
The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that five helicopters evacuated approximately 40 patients from HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital to facilities further inland on Monday, including some in critical care.
Tampa General Hospital (TGH), a major hospital in the Gulf Coast region, also canceled non-critical surgeries and announced ambulatory location closures in anticipation of flood damage.
Following the hurricane, Sarasota County and the state allocated response teams comprised of 20 ambulances to assist in the transfer of patients to help manage the influx of emergency cases at Sarasota Memorial’s Venice campus.
A 30-bed tent facility was also built immediately outside the site’s ambulance bay, with a team of 37 physicians, nurses, physician assistants, paramedics, and pharmacists working with our Venice staff to offer continual emergency and urgent care to help handle the demand.