A series of power failures at a Los Angeles hospital led to the urgent transfer of 28 critically ill patients to different hospitals early on Tuesday. Additionally, 213 other patients were relocated to another facility within the medical center complex due to the situation, as reported by authorities.
The power failure blacked out Adventist Health White Memorial’s main six-story building, disabling elevators, said Fire Chief Kristin M. Crowley. More than 100 firefighters and numerous ambulances were dispatched to the facility east of downtown.
The building includes OB-GYN and neonatal intensive care, Crowley said.
“All patients are safe,” John Raffoul, the hospital president, said at a press conference.
Fire personnel remained at the hospital during the day.
Mayor Karen Bass called for a thorough examination of the incident.
“We must get to the bottom of what happened and ensure that lives are not put at risk in this way ever again,” Bass said in a statement. “Many years ago, I worked at White Memorial in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. A power outage risks the lives of all of those babies — and also the rest of the patients in critical care whose lives depend on respirators, ventilators and other critical life-sustaining equipment.”
The hospital originally lost power at 3 a.m. Monday after Tropical Storm Hilary dumped record rainfall on the city, and backup generators that were supposed to last three days kicked in, Raffoul said.
But a blackout was reported at 11:45 p.m. Monday and firefighters were dispatched to evacuate patients, assisting them down flights of stairs in many cases, the Fire Department said.
“We don’t know the cause of the double failure that we had here … other than the fact that we had a major storm that hit us here in Southern California,” Raffoul said.