• 26 JUL 17
    • 0

    Is Your Hospital Ready for an Evacuation?

    On Wednesday, July 12, 93 patients were evacuated from Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Illinois and transferred to other hospitals due to overnight flooding which resulted in power outages.

    In a similar incident last year, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point of Pasco County, Florida was preparing for Hurricane Hermine when it was struck by lightning which triggered a fire and a total loss of power. Elevators were not working, and the staff quickly ran into the problem of safely transferring patients from second and third floors. The only option to bring these patients to safety was for firefighters to carry them in stair chairs down the stairwell, a task that took hours in the South Florida heat.

    Would your hospital be ready to quickly and efficiently transport patients in a similar situation or in the event of a fire or other emergency?

    According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health, “Hospitals cannot plan to depend on local fire and emergency response personnel to assist with an evacuation during a community-wide disaster”.¹ This means that in the event of an emergency, it is up to hospital staff to evacuate their patients to safety.

    WauK boardThe WauK® board, a dolly designed specifically for transporting people, can be used for safely evacuating patients.

    When the power is out and elevators are not working, patients must be transported by staff. The WauK® board is the only equipment designed to allow bed-ridden patients to be rolled to safety. The WauK® board is patient-friendly. Many other devices comprised of materials made with plastic, mattress, and reinforced corrugate involve dragging the patient down the hallway and down the stairs.

    The WauK® board is also a highly cost-effective device because staff can transfer the patient to a waiting ambulance cot and continue to use the WauK® board for another patient evacuation. A team of three staff members can evacuate four to five patients in three hours from the fourth floor of a hospital. Planning for 50 bed-ridden patient evacuations only requires the purchase of 10 WauK® boards.

    The WauK® board also floats in water, making it possible to transport patients to watercrafts if needed.

    For more information on how to efficiently transport patients in the state of an emergency evacuation using the WauK® board, contact your local MED Alliance Group Sales Representative, call 888-891-1200 or email us.


    ¹ Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health. (2014). MDPH Hospital Evacuation Toolkit. (Standard No. 2). Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/emergency-prep/hospital-evacuation-toolkit/planning-guide.pdf
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