Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Some Hospitals Evacuated Patients Before Sandy Struck
Patient evacuations, postponing elective surgeries, ensuring
backup generators were ready to go, and stocking up on supplies
were some of the ways that hospitals along the U.S. east coast
prepared for the massive storm Sandy.
For example, Hoboken University Medical Center evacuated
patients early in the morning before Sandy struck New Jersey. There
were fears that surges from Sandy could breach Hoboken's seawall
and cause flooding. The hospital's emergency room and ob-gyn
services for emergency deliveries remained open.
"Patient safety always is paramount, and although the risks of the hospital losing all power are small, all safety precautions must be taken," medical center CEO Paul Walker told ABC News.
Patients were also evacuated from VA New York Harbor Hospital
and New York Downtown Hospital.
North Shore-LIJ Health System's 16 hospitals remained open, but
dozens of critically ill patients who rely on mechanical devices,
such as ventilators, were evacuated from Staten Island University
Health Center and Southside Hospital. Both facilities are close to
Novartis Flu Vaccines Banned in Six Countries
A temporary ban on the import or use of Novartis' Fluad and/or
Aggripal flu vaccines has been imposed by six European countries
after the company reported small particles in the vaccines to
Other flu vaccines are available in Austria, France, Germany,
Italy, Spain and Switzerland, but there could be supply problems in
some regions, the
Switzerland-based Novartis knew about the problem with its
vaccines since July but only notified Italian authorities this
month. Company spokesman Eric Althoff would not say how long
Novartis waited before telling health officials.
In an email, he said that "once the deviation was seen, an
investigation was started and the findings were shared with the
Italian Ministry of Health," the
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