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Sandy-struck NYU hospital partly re-opens

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | December 28, 2012
An MRI trailer arriving at
NYU earlier this month.
After being closed for nearly two months since floodwaters raised by Hurricane Sandy shorted power and damaged equipment, NYU Langone Medical Center is re-opening its inpatient wing.

On Thursday, the 780-bed Tisch Hospital resumed a bevy of inpatient services, including surgery, interventional radiology and intensive care. Medical imaging services, dialysis, diagnostic labs, the pharmacy and the blood bank are also back online.

Other services, including pediatrics and neurology, will open in about two weeks. The emergency department, however, remains closed, and the hospital said it didn't know when it would be back up.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that 50 surgeries were scheduled for its first day back in business, about one-third its usual caseload.

On Oct. 29, the hospital was forced to evacuate some 250 patients after emergency power systems failed, in a dramatic overnight effort that was widely chronicled by local media and health care reporters.

Earlier this month, FEMA authorized paying NYU more than $150 million in public assistance funds to help with the recovery efforts, and the first check was personally delivered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to AM New York.

The hospital estimates repairs will cost upward of a billion dollars, as flooding from the storm destroyed three MRIs, other expensive capital equipment, caused widespread damage and resulted in lost revenue. FEMA said it would pay out more money to the hospital.

DOTmed News previously covered the race-against-the-clock transfer of a mobile MRI unit from a community hospital near Ann Arbor, Mich., to help NYU have imaging services in time for the holidays.

"We have overcome many challenges over the last two months, yet our faculty and staff at NYU Langone truly rose to the occasion so that we could get back to doing what we do best — providing world-class patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, and educating the next generation of physicians," Dr. Robert I. Grossman, the hospital's CEO, said in a statement.

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