Texas hospitals suffer water problems amid widespread power outages

Following a mortal storm that swept through Texas This week, widespread power outages and water problems have affected millions of people in the state. Hospitals have suffered, and some have had to restrict water use and transport patients to other facilities.

St. David’s HealthCare said in a statement to CBS News on Thursday that its South Austin Medical Center lost water pressure and was restricting water use.

The city of Austin is now under a boil water advisory due to a power outage at The Ullrich water treatment plant, the city’s largest water treatment plant, and the water pressure is “about below minimum standards. “

According to St. David’s HealthCare, the South Austin Medical Center incident command team was distributing bottles and jugs of water to patients and employees for drinking and hand washing. The hospital was also losing heat because the water feeds the facility’s boiler.

The incident command team was working with the city for a solution and was working to find “a transportation solution to get medically capable patients home safely home.”

In addition to these measures, the hospital was working to get water trucks and portable toilets, and was canceling all non-emergency procedures. “Through our national partner, HCA Healthcare, we are able to secure and obtain food, bedding, medications and supplies necessary to care for and care for our patients,” the statement said.

The hospital, which currently has just under 300 patients, transported the most needy patients, about 5% of patients, to other hospitals, according to the statement. St. David’s added that “because this is a statewide emergency situation that is also affecting other hospitals within the Austin area, no hospital currently has the capacity to accept the transportation of large numbers of patients.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Ascension Seton Hospitals in Austin have also been affected. A hospital spokesman said “extreme weather conditions have caused intermittent water problems at various Ascension Seton facilities.”

And Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin asked patients not to shower and to use hand sanitizer to clean their hands due to water pressure issues, KUT radio station reported. In a letter to patients obtained by the station, the hospital also said that toilets cannot be flushed and that bedding is changed only when necessary.

CBS News has reached out to these and other Texas hospital systems in the areas affected by the winter storm.

Austin is just a city fighting the aftermath of the storm. As of Thursday morning, hundreds of thousands were still without power across the state, according to poweroutage.us, and authorities had ordered 7 million people to boil tap water before drinking it, the Associated Press reported.

In the city of Arlington, two major hospitals, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Medical City of Arlington, were experiencing problems with water pressure, CBS DFW reported Wednesday.

Blake Kretz, president of Texas Health Arlington Memorial, sent a statement to CBS DFW saying that “consistently cold and sub-zero temperatures” were causing “significant water pressure problems throughout the city of Arlington,” and the hospital was providing bottled water. to patients and staff.

“The safety, security and emergency management teams at Texas Health Arlington Memorial are working diligently to keep vital hospital functions available to those in need,” the statement said.

“The hospital will work in conjunction with the Arlington Fire Department to obtain additional water resources,” he continued. The Arlington Fire Department dispatched a fire truck to provide water pressure at Arlington Memorial, CBS DFW reported.

In a statement to CBS DFW on Wednesday, Medical City of Arlington said it has also been affected by the city’s water pressure problems and had “a multi-day supply of bottled water for our patients and staff.” The hospital was working with the city and the fire department to obtain additional water supplies.


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