A building next to University Medical Center holds the hospital's back up plan. When the power goes out, a large emergency generator powers the core of the hospital. But Friday, it too was effected by the weather, forcing UMC to use the back-up to their back-up.
Nurses scrambled to manually bag about 12 ventilator patients in UMC's intensive care units with the power out for 50 minutes. Vice President of Patient Care Kim Judd recalls, "I quickly responded to our high risk area and our staff was great. Everything was taken care of. They had a game plan and we were very well prepared."
The ventilators and other critical equipment at UMC operate on battery back-ups, but medical professionals don't rely on batteries when patient lives are at stake. "We don't rely on just one plan. We don't rely on just one emergency generator. We don't rely on just battery operated equipment. We have manual plans in place too," said Division Director Greg Bruce.
EMS dispatch and the 911 call center at UMC lost power too, but they were able to operate on back-up without interruption until power was restored. Power was restored to UMC by 8am and no patients were adversely effected by the outage...for the most part. "I think for most patients the biggest impact was breakfast was delayed for 30 minutes," Bruce says.
The generator is back up and running at UMC. Covenant Medical Center was not effected by the storms. Covenant Lakeside did lose power for about 30 minutes, but there were no problems there either.