The St.Maarten Medical Center took part in the hurricane exercises (HUREX) on August 28, 2013. Seven patients with real life conditions that can be expected during a hurricane, as a result of the natural disaster or rioting, were brought to the Emergency Room.
At the hospital, the staff was prepared to handle the cases in a quick and efficient manner. Some of the patients were transferred to the ICU where they were stabilized.
The staff not only had to deal with injured patients, but also control a disruptive relative. This involved having to drop the safety shutters in order to protect other patients and emergency room personnel.
This is the first time that the hospital has been included in the annual drill in preparation for the peak of the hurricane season. “It [the drill] was necessary, we learnt some things and have made an action list to work on some points as we continue our preparations for the remainder of the hurricane season,” Kees Klarenbeek, Director SMMC. He continues, “Based on the exercises, we are comfortable and confident that we are fully prepared to handle disasters.”
St. Eustatius and Saba will have their final hurricane exercises over the weekend. As part of their exercises, the Emergency Room will receive a patient from one of these islands after being evacuated by the medical helicopter.
One day after the exercises, improvements are already being made based on observations during the drill. These improvements will continue so as to ensure that the hospital is equipped to provide the safest possible care to patients during a time of a disaster.