The Hot Beat


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C.R. gives key advice to evacuated Fargo hospital

MeritCare Hospital, which is about five blocks from the Red River in Fargo, evacuated about 180 patients last night.

Bruce Pitts, the hospital’s executive vice-president of clinical services, said he consulted officials at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids and received key advice on how to evacuate the patients.

Mercy was forced to evacuate all its patients during the June flood.

When hospitals evacuate, they tag patients to make sure they’re transported correctly, according to their illness — by plane, helicopter, ambulance, bus, etc., Pitts said. The important thing officials at Mercy passed on was to have doctors make sure the tags were correct immediately before the patients left the hospital.

“We were organized and it worked out,” Pitts said. “We had already transferred the sickest.”

The evacuation took about six hours, he said.

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