A New Orleans hospital, after Hurricane Katrina, was surrounded on all sides by several feet of water. The power was out, and as time went on without restoration of basic operations, rumors began circulating of the hospital being overrun by looters. It was a period of total chaos with breakdowns in institutional leadership, compromises in patient care, and in some cases, clinical decisions with deadly consequences. Dr. Sheri Fink, author of Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, takes us on a tour of the aftermath of these events, and the public outcries that both villified and defended the healthcare workers involved.
Click here for Part 1 of this fascinating two-part exploration of the disaster, a hospital's response, and the repercussions that have rippled through its affected staff, patients, and families years later.