Hospitals on the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines dealt with power loss and short water supplies as Hurricane Katrina swept in. Telephone calls to hospitals in New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss., did not get through, and most hospitals were assumed to be running on generator power. Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, had a notice on its Web site that Ochsner Hospital and all clinics in New Orleans, which was hit particularly hard by the hurricane, would be closed until at least Wednesday. A spokesman for Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, said all five of the system's hospitals in New Orleans and the one in Biloxi, Miss., were open but several were operating on generators. Workers and patients at Tenet's Memorial Medical Center, New Orleans, were moved to upper levels because the water level in the street had reached four to five feet, he said. The storm shattered windows on five floors at New Orlean's Charity Hospital, forcing patients to be moved to lower levels, the Associated Press reported.
Robert Jernigan, chief executive officer at Summit Hospital, Baton Rouge, La., said his hospital had been running on generators since late morning. Summit received about 20 patients evacuated from a sister hospital in La Place, La. A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Association said all hospitals on the coast had reported damage and most were operating on generator power, but further details were not yet available. -- by Joseph Mantone