Hospitals on Georgia's coast are now starting to get patients back who had been evacuated due to Hurricane Matthew.
Southeast Georgia Health System had to move about 200 patients from its hospitals in Brunswick and St. Mary's to facilities across the state, said Jacqueline Weder, a spokesperson for the system.
She said 245 additional patients were also moved from the system’s two senior care facilities. She said staff worked around the clock to move patients safely.
“Making sure we're in touch with the emergency contact person, letting them know where we were sending their loved ones. Making sure that medical records were sent in advance, that they went along with the patient, with the patient’s belongings,” she said.
Weder said Wednesday that patients are currently being transferred back to their original facilities.
“Fortunately, we’re starting to return to normal,” said Kevin Bloye, a spokesperson for the Georgia Hospitals Association. He said that the hospitals that were under mandatory evacuation are back up and running, but are still working on getting all of their patients.
He said the evacuations were no small undertaking, and took coordination between hospitals across the state, emergency medical services along and government agencies like the Georgia Department of Public Health.
“A situation like this in which you certainly have the fear of a mass casualty situation -- it really takes everyone in the caregiver community to put their resources together to make sure patients are taken care of,” Bloye said.
In addition to the Southeast Georgia Health System hospitals, he said a long-term senior care center in Savannah also had to evacuate.
The Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah, a state-run hospital for mental health patients, also had to move 179 patients last week to another hospital in Augusta, said Andrew Johnson, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
Johnson said patients are expected to move back to the Savannah hospital Wednesday morning.