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HOSPITAL of the Month Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center
Story Number is : 122012103
Correspondent
Hospital Newspaper

 
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During Hurricane Sandy and her aftermath, we heard and – unfortunately– witnessed several tragic stories about the devastation left in the storm’s wake.
It will take months to recover. But we will rise again. We couldn’t do it without good people, courageous first responders and selfless citizens.
We couldn’t do it without hospitals such as Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center. To borrow a phrase from the facility, every great accomplishment is only the sum of its parts. For Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, that couldn’t be any closer to the truth. During Hurricane Sandy every medical and non-medical staff member committed themselves to serving those who needed help, swapping between roles like handing out sandwiches to wheeling beds room to room.
There was no time to waste. Every employee of the hospital from the administration to the medical staff rolled up their sleeves and helped patients on the front lines, helping direct traffic and even lending a hand to help patients make it from the fierce winds and rain outside.
Because of the actions of every able-bodied Physician, Accountant, Laboratory Operator, Maintenance Man and Security Guard and many others acting as runners, sitters, cafeteria volunteers and lifters, what could have been a chaotic and desperate scene turned out to be an extremely well coordinated operation. Don’t forget the EMS team and their ongoing coordination with the ER department to make sure everyone arrived here safety and swiftly.
The Command Center worked what could be called miracles coordinating events especially when the electricity and computers went down. This was no easy task but it was handled professionally. Considering the circumstances, operations went along seamlessly.
Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. Damage in the US is estimated at over $63 billion.
During the heaviest storms of Hurricane Sandy, MHMC saved the life of a 38-year-old Trinidadian male. The patient, a local Secaucus resident, sought medical attention in the emergency room, presenting complaints of severe and crushing chest pain, vomiting, and sweating. During this time, all other hospitals in Hudson County were closed and patients were being diverted to MHMC.
Despite the Emergency Department being overwhelmed, it turned out to be this patient’s lucky day. A Cardiologist, Dr. Peter Tsenovoy, happened to be helping facilitate patient care in the ER at a time of significantly increased activity. The patient's history was promptly taken and an electrocardiogram ordered. Minutes later, it became evident that the patient was suffering from a deadly ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), which occurs when a coronary artery is totally occluded or blocked by a clot. This prompted the need for additional, immediate medical care.
Because of the severe flooding and road blocks, arrangements were made for the patient to be airlifted by helicopter to a nearby facility with cardiac stenting capabilities. The time from diagnosis of the heart attack to treatment with balloon angioplasty - "door to balloon time" - fell just under 90 minutes. Even in the midst of the worst hurricane in American history, MHMC was able to provide the patient with care consistent with national cardiac guidelines.
Even during the wrath of Sandy, there was never a doubt that this operation would be a resounding success -- thanks to a dedicated, tireless and hard-working MHMC staff coming together as one.



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