(WAVY) – Sentara Hospitals spokesperson Dale Gauding talked to WAVY News 10 about the response to help victims in the aftermath of a tornado on the Eastern Shore.
Thursday morning, Gauding said three Sentara hospitals were making mass casualty preparations: Sentara Virginia Beach General, Sentara Leigh Hospital and Sentara Norfolk General. At the time, he said they were anticipating multiple patients.
President of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Kurt T. Hofelich, said the hospital got a call about the incident and victims just after 9 a.m.
“We called what we call a ‘code green.’ We put everybody in the hospital on alert. The medical staff that takes care of the patients up on the units start prioritizing, patients that can be discharged out so that we can free up rooms,” he said.
By noon, Gauding said Sentara hospitals had received three patients: two were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and one was transferred from Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He said they were not anticipating more patients, but were ready to help, if needed.
Of the two patients at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, one is a woman, who is serious condition, Gauding said.
WAVY News’ Ava Hurdle reported the child who was transferred to CHKD came in with head trauma. Virginia State Police said in the afternoon that the child was the 13-year-old son of a married couple from New Jersey. Both of the parents were killed at Cherrystone Campground Cheriton when a tree fell on their tent. The child, also injured from the fallen tree, received life-threatening injuries, state police said.
Nightingale was not able to fly Thursday morning due to the severe weather conditions, but was able to take off in the afternoon to aid in the transport of the pediatric patient.
Gauding said he was not sure where the patients taken to Sentara hospitals had been injured, but VSP said all the injured came from the same campground.
Gauding also said that while it is not a common occurrence, Sentara hospitals do have drills for mass casualties and are prepared to help.
Meanwhile, other people who were injured during the tornado were taken to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital. A spokesperson said the hospital treated 26 patients, 15 adults and 11 children.