Hospitals put emergency plans in action for storm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Urgent care and other clinics around the metro closed Thursday. Hospitals, of course, were still open.

Emergency plans were put in action so they had the essential personnel to care for patients.

Ashley Teaford, a certified nursing assistant, got to St. Luke’s Hospital in a friend’s Jeep.

“Somebody has to come in. We can’t just close the hospital,” says Ashley.

St. Luke’s had another 100 workers spend Wednesday night in the building or at nearby Embassy Suites so they would be there Thursday. At least 200 workers are expected to do that Thursday night.

“I think the biggest challenge is probably the evening shift today — getting them in. Some of them have been brought in early. So they’ve come in early this morning. They were here last night,” says Derek Collins, the hospital’s safety and emergency preparedness coordinator.

Collins says the hospital also brought in extra supplies early in the week in case deliveries couldn’t be made.

Emergency room activity was slow as the snow fell. But look down the block from St. Luke’s, and you seen why activity picked up as the day wore on.

Even 16-year-old Shea Stacy was feeling the effects of snow shoveling.

“It’s just back breaking pretty much,” says Shea.

He also said his heart was really pumping. It’s a great work-out for him, but for couch potatoes or the elderly, it can result in a heart attack.

“If you start to feel discomfort in your chest, lightheaded or weak, stop what you’re doing,” says Dr. John Hendren.

The constriction of blood vessels in the cold combined with the heavy exertion can be hard on the hearts of those who are out of shape.

“Let somebody else do it,” advises Dr. Hendren. So you don’t see him in the emergency room.

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