KIPS BAY — Bellevue Hospital's emergency room has reopened its doors to patients with non-critical and non-traumatic injuries, but still won't be fully functional until Februrary, officials said Thursday.
The announcement comes nearly two months after the hospital was evacuated on October 31 when it lost power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It has struggled to reopen fully after the storm damaged much of the hospital's basement and some of the facility's equipment.
A New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation spokesman said that Bellevue has been accepting ambulances since Dec. 24, but still is not accepting patients suffering from life-threatening injuries like gunshot wounds, traumatic car accidents, heart attacks, pregnant women beyond their first trimester, and anyone who needs surgery.
The hospital, however, will accept people with abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, sprains, strains, fractures, non-traumatic broken bones, lacerations, rashes, skin ailments, eye injuries, respiratory infections or sore throats.
"Bellevue plays a vital role in the community and we’re very pleased to be able to offer limited emergency department services there again,” Alan D. Aviles, president of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), said in a statement. “Tremendous credit is owed to the dedicated staff and physicians who have worked around the clock since Sandy to bring the facility back into service."
The hospital also added new services to the outpatient clinic it has been operating since November 19, officials noted.