26 patients treated at Riverside Shore Memorial

This family was at Cherrystone Campground in Cape Charles Thursday, July 24 when severe weather blew through and landed them in the hospital. (WAVY/Chris Horne)

NASSAWADOX, Va. (WAVY) – Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital on the Eastern Shore received the majority of people injured during a tornado at the Cherrystone Campground in Cape Charles Thursday morning.

While patients were taken to several hospitals across the region, the hospital in Nassawadox treated 26 people. Hospital spokesman Peter Glagola spoke to WAVY News 10 about the process of coordinating which patients should be transported to which hospital.

“As soon as this storm hit, we deployed trauma surgeons and other staff members from other Riverside facilities to come down to the Eastern Shore,” he said.

Glagola said 15 patients were adults and 11 were children. He said two of the children had to be transferred to the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, eight were treated and released and one remains at Riverside. For the most part, he said doctors were seeing “broken bones, cuts and lacerations.”

As of 2 p.m. he said the hospital did not expect the arrival of any additional patients.

Virginia State Police confirmed at least two people were killed during the storm, which blew through the campground around 8:30 a.m.

“Typically when something like this happens all the hospitals that are in the local area are on alert,” Gagola explained. “We give the number of how many patients we can accept. We have a red, yellow, green system. So red is of course the most critical; yellow is in the mid-range and green is like the walking wounded or minor injuries.”

“The EMS in the field typically make the call on where someone needs to go or whether they need medevac directly to the scene to fly [the patient] to a trauma center,” Gagola said. “Riverside in Newport News is a level 2 trauma center. MCV in Richmond is a level 1 trauma center. So, it depends on the injuries, whether or not you go to a level 1 or level 2 trauma center.”

Dale Gauding with Sentara said as of 11:30 a.m., Sentara hospitals had received three patients as a result of the tornado. Gauding said one patient taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital was transferred to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Two patients went to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital; one is being treated, and one is being assessed.

Sentara Virginia Beach General, Sentara Leigh Hospital and Sentara Norfolk General have returned to normal operations.

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