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Medical Center Hospital deals with Odessa water shutdown

Throughout` the water emergency, Medical Center Hospital found creative ways to take care of the 200 patients in-house.
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Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 10:08 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Throughout` the water emergency, Medical Center Hospital found creative ways to take care of the 200 patients in-house.

Since 4:30 Tuesday morning, MCH has been assessing where the need within the hospital is the greatest.

Generous companies and other hospitals have stepped up to make sure the hospital continues caring for patients.

All hands on deck…

“Nobody has titles in here today. Everyone is a caregiver here today,” said MCH president and CEO Russell Tippin.

Doctors, nurses, support, and administrative staff have nicknamed themselves the “bucket brigade” as they bring gallon buckets from tankers into the hospitals so the toilets will flush.

Many of the hospital operations run off of city water like air conditioning, fire sprinklers, and sanitization of medical tools.

“We have chillers and water towers that cool the water that help the chillers operate optimally. That’s going through about 1,000 gallons an hour through evaporation so without the city water that’s been difficult. But we have tanker trucks coming in and rotating for us,” said MCH chief operating officer Matt Collins.

As a result of the water shutdown, MCH has canceled all surgeries Tuesday and Wednesday morning with plans to re-evaluate afternoon surgeries on Wednesday.

But the emergency room remains open and some of Odessa’s newest residents don’t know there’s a water emergency.

“We do know we have 6 babies that are trying to make their entrance into this world. We are closely monitoring that. Make sure mom is good, the baby is good, and everyone is good. No problem with that so far,” said Tippin.

MCH won’t be taking any patients from out of town, but say they are committed to continuing caring for Odessans who need it especially as it gets hotter outside.

The hospital says they are thankful for the community response from companies, organizations, and individuals who want to help.

“All we can say is just hold on. If you need something, come see us. We’ll take care of you. It may look a little different and feel a little different than it did yesterday, but the level of care we provide has not changed,” said Tippin.

The hospital says they are prepped for 48 hours without water and will continue to evaluate what needs to be done as long as the water remains shut off.

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