Hospital Generators Can't Keep Up in Puerto Rico After Maria

  October 10, 2017

By Naomi Millán

Hospitals across Puerto Rico continue to struggle under the strain of running on limited generator power, over two weeks after Hurricane Maria wiped out the island's electric grid. About three-quarters of the islands hospitals are running on emergency power, according to NPR.

At Hospital Pavia Arecibo, temperatures in the sixth floor cardiac unit reached above 108 F, reported NPR. Arecibo, on the northwestern shore of the island about an hour west of San Juan, was in the direct path of the eye of the hurricane. The town is best known as the location of the Arecibo Observatory, which until 2016 was the world's largest single-aperture radio telescope.

A disaster medical assistance team deployed to the hospital was able to set up temporary cooling tents on the hospital grounds to move at-risk patients to a cooler environment.

Another hospital on the western coast of the island in Aguadilla is in a similar situation: no utility power, running a skeleton operation on standby generators needing maintenance, and not enough capacity to provide adequate cooling.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor, Building Operating Management. For strategies on how to provide for your healthcare facility's energy needs during an extended emergency, go to https://www.facilitiesnet.com/14320bom


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