Two of New Orleans' most troubled hospitals were evacuated late Friday after desperate doctors spent days making tough choices about which patients would receive dwindling supplies of food, water and medicines. Rescuers finally made it into Charity and University hospitals and evacuated all remaining patients and staff. "The last information I have is that all of the buildings are empty," said Don Smithburg, head of the Louisiana State University hospital system. About 2,200 people were evacuated, including 363 patients. Some were taken out on stretchers and others on piggyback. Three terminally ill patients died during the evacuation. Smithburg did not know how many died waiting for help. At Charity, the largest public hospital and trauma center in the city, gunshots last Thursday prevented efforts to evacuate more than 250 patients. The evacuation resumed Friday after state police stepped up their protection, Smithburg said. -- by the Associated Press
New Orleans hospital evacuations completed, with guard
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