Currently, a government-sponsored Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is providing health care services to residents, which will be phased out as the medical center takes over.
The mobile hospital complex includes two 43-foot trailers with expandable sides that are fully outfitted with critical care beds, each having monitor and defibrillator capabilities; a portable digital X-ray unit, telemedicine capabilities, portable field laboratory, a small pharmaceutical cache, overhead medical procedure lighting and onboard medical gases; as well as heated tents for triage, minor treatment and support.
“It will operate very similar to our current emergency department,” Player said. “They have the critical care beds and they would still be able to still take in stroke patients and accident victims the way we normally do … they tell us it is a fully operational emergency department.”
Player said that the DMAT operation, located by the Recreation Department’s baseball field, has treated patients for everything from construction injuries and chest pains, most of which are related to cleanup efforts.
“From what I understand from DMAT, now you’re starting to see construction injuries,” Player said, adding that three injuries resulting from the use of a chainsaw have been reported. “We anticipate chest pains and heart problems that may be stress-related.”
The MSED unit was arranged at the request of the medical center by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and is funded through a unique partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and Hackensack University Medical Center.
“We thank HHS under the leadership of Secretary Sebelius for their quick response to assist the Medical Center in meeting the immediate medical needs of the Long Beach Island community, which has been devastated by superstorm Sandy,” Long Beach Medical Center CEO Doug Meltzer said in a statement. “We also thank our colleagues at Hackensack University Medical Center for their tremendous support, their sympathy for the Long Beach community and their expressed desire to help the Medical Center during this unprecedented period.”