NYCHA Finds Sick Shut-Ins at Red Hook Houses

Two weeks after the storm knocked out power in the building, many elderly and disabled residents have been trapped in their buildings without medication or care.

Public housing officials have found 127 residents in need of medical care at the Red Hook Houses, two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit and left them without power and heat, according to the New York Daily News.

Most of the affected were treated on site last Tuesday by nurses, but six required ambulance transportation.

When confronted by the Daily News, New York City Housing Authority officials confirmed that some tenants had "dangerously high blood pressure" or displayed diabetes symptoms that required immediate treatment. Another tenant had the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, while an elderly man was living with a fractured hip left untreated from before the storm.

In 44 cases, tenants' medications had run out, and without working elevators, many elderly residents were stuck in their apartments. According to the Daily News, a nurse practitioner updated the prescriptions and filled them that day.

A large concern, though, was hypothermia in – especially since temperatures have dropped to almost freezing levels overnight lately.

"The natural thing for the city to do is go building-by-building to make sure people really are back to square one and not declaring victory and leaving people behind," Public Advocate Bill de Blasio told the Daily News. "You have people who are shut into their apartments. They need to be checked on.

Sunday evening, the mayor announced the expansion of the door-to-door campaign to check on people who have been living in hard conditions since the storm. Medical teams with paramedics and the National Guard had so far hit 65,000 apartments, reaching 42,000 people in NYCHA properties, rental buildings and single-family homes, according to the paper.

De Blasio says that 42,000 is just a fraction of the people who have been suffering without power, heat and hot water – his office estimates hundreds of thousands of people in dismal conditions without care.


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