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US hospitals escape the worst of power failure

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 21 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:414
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    US hospitals coped well when the power went out. Elective surgery and outpatient clinics were cancelled in many hospitals across New York state as a result of the power blackout on 14 August. But most hospitals switched automatically to backup generators during the failure.

    Electricity was lost in much of the northeastern area of the United States and southern Canada on a hot afternoon, affecting an estimated 50 million people for up to two days. The blackout knocked out mobile phones and also some landline telephones.

    In New York city, the emergency medical service reportedly responded to 5000 calls, about 2000 more than usual. There were 80 000 calls to 911, the emergency telephone number. People were evacuated …

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