Texas hospital works to transfer patients after losing water pressure


AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — St. David’s South Austin Medical Center lost water pressure Wednesday night, resulting in having to transfer some patients to other area hospitals and others being discharged to go home.

Chief Executive Officer David Huffstutler wrote in a statement to NewsNation affiliate KXAN the water also feeds the facility’s boiler, so it is also losing heat. Right now, the hospital has nearly 300 patients.

An “incident command team” is working at the hospital to find a solution with the City of Austin to the lack of water pressure. They are also working with the city to find transportation for patients who are medically able to be taken home.

Other patients most in need will be taken to other hospitals, Huffstutler said. But he explained this issue is affecting other hospitals in the Austin area, and “no one hospital currently has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients.”

Other emergency tasks and efforts include:

  • Distributing bottles and jugs of water for patients and employees to drink and wash their hands
  • Working to get water trucks to the hospital as quickly as possible
  • Working with the City of Austin to secure portable toilets
  • Asking employees currently on shift to continue to stay at the hospital 
  • Communicating with families of current patients about the situation
  • Canceling all non-emergency procedures

St. David’s South said through its national partner, HCA Healthcare, it was able to secure food, linens, medication and supplies for patients.

“I am personally directing every resource available within our healthcare system to find solutions to best care for and serve our patients during this challenging time.” Huffstutler said in the statement.

Additionally, St. David’s HealthCare is working with regional suppliers to provide water for patients, staff and hospital operations after Austin Water issued a citywide boil water notice. Drinking water was delivered to facilities last week, and more supplies are on the way this week. They are working to get water trucks on site at the hospitals as quickly as possible.

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