Hospitals in New England, especially in Massachusetts, bore the brunt of the winter storm that hit the East Coast early last week, with some areas reporting more than 20 inches of snow and strong winds. New York City hospitals, which also had expected record snow, were largely spared the worst of the storm.
The blizzard hit hard on Nantucket, a summer resort island with about 11,000 year-round residents, 30 miles south of Cape Cod. Most of the island lost power during the storm, which brought hurricane-force winds. Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the island's only hospital, was forced to run on generator power for an extended period.
Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance had 250 staffers stay overnight at its three community hospital campuses, 126 of whom were at Cambridge Hospital, a spokesman said. The hospitals' emergency departments weren't as busy as usual because of a statewide travel ban. Most patients who did come in arrived via ambulance, many with flu-like illnesses or snow-related conditions, such as hypothermia or exhaustion from shoveling snow, the hospital spokesman said.