If Hurricane Dean hits the Cayman Islands, the Health Services Authority is ready and prepared to provide medical care and treatment says HAS acting CEO Lizzette Yearwood.
She said the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit will remain open around the clock to provide care to those most in need of treatment.
The hospital will operate a triage system, and some patients with less serious injuries will be referred to Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital.
All other out-patient clinics and services will be closed at 6pm the day a hurricane watch is declared. As the storm passes, the clinics will be assessed and those that are operational will be reopened as soon as possible.
Medical care will also be available at Hurricane Shelters and Emergency Medical Centres. Shelters will have Red Cross First-Aid staff on hand, and Emergency Medical Centres (see EMC story, page 7) will have medical and nursing personnel on hand to provide care for those most at-risk and vulnerable in a storm.
Once the storm passes, these centres may stay open to assist in providing medical care, depending on the level of injury.
On Cayman Brac, Faith Hospital will be evacuated to the Medical Wing of the Aston Rutty Centre if Dean is a category two or higher hurricane.
On Little Cayman, Little Cayman Health Center will be evacuated if the storm is threatening the island and medical care will be available at the Public Works Department Building.
If a hurricane watch is declared the HSA will make the following announcements.
Emergency care: If a hurricane watch is declared, The Cayman Islands Hospital Accident and Emergency Unit will remain open 24 hours a day for emergency medical treatment. All other clinics and services will be closed on the day the Hurricane watch is declared.
All Dialysis patients will be asked to make immediate contact with the Dialysis Unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital to make arrange treatment.
Medication: Patients that require additional medication will be asked to check they have adequate supplies. Those that do not will be instructed to contact the nearest District Health Centre or the Cayman Islands Hospital Pharmacy for refills. Patients can call 244-2715 giving their full name, name of the medications they take and the prescription number.
The maternity unit will accept pregnant women that are eight months or more pregnant or who have been identified as having a high risk of pregnancy. Patients have to pre-register for delivery of the baby and must consult their physician before coming to the hospital.
The HSA will also remind the public that the Cayman Islands Hospital in not an option for general sheltering during a hurricane.