Hurricane Ian Started a Clock Ticking for Dialysis Patients
A photo of a young boy from a South Sudan refugee camp washed ashore Wednesday in the Philippines, as part of a campaign on Facebook to raise awareness of the human toll of Hurricane Ian, which began its path toward the U.S on Thursday.
In a small hospital in the southern Philippine city of Davao, the sound of dialysis machines filled the air Thursday morning.
The dialysis machines were on full power, and a sign for the nearby University of the Philippines Medical Center showed that a staff of nurses and doctors were working as usual. But a sign at the nearby hospital said that patients and their family members were requested to gather at the hospital’s emergency department, which is one of the facilities where Hurricane Ian passed by on its way toward the U.S. (The Philippines is on the same side of the Pacific as the U.S.)
The warning was out, so most people gathered at the emergency department were there to check on their families before their next scheduled dialysis session.
The warning from local authorities was that hurricane winds were present in the Philippines’ central and southern provinces, which could carry the strong winds to the country’s coast.
The storm’s forecast track indicated that it would make landfall in the U.S. on Sept. 1.
Dialysis was postponed in a number of public hospitals in Davao city, and the public’s attention turned to the hospital where the storm was still blowing in from the south, at the University of the Philippines Medical Center.
The hospital had not experienced any storm damage or disruption before the storm hit, and it decided to resume dialysis in a normal time.
But the university said that it was “urgently awaiting the government’s permission to resume dialysis services” at the hospital because of the risk of damage from the storm.
For some people on Thursday, the news was not good.