Grady ER remains on diversion, more than 200 rooms damaged by flooding

Grady Memorial Hospital
Grady Memorial Hospital

Credit: AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: AJC FILE PHOTO

Ambulances are still not taking patients to Grady Memorial Hospital, four days after a two-foot water pipe burst and flooded several floors of the building.

The hospital, which advertises itself as the busiest trauma center on the East Coast, went into diversion mode Saturday afternoon after the broken pipe caused water damage to several floors. Paramedics are being told to bring patients to other area hospitals including Emory and Piedmont hospitals, putting strain on their resources.

The flooding also caused electrical issues in the patient care tower and “significantly damaged” dozens of hospital rooms, Grady said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. The electrical repairs may take up to three weeks to complete. In the meantime 30% of its elevators are out of service.

At least three patient floors were affected by the flooding. Grady said 158 beds will be “off-line” for several months while crews address the damage. About 60 other rooms that were damaged could reopen within a week, the hospital said.

After the pipe burst, the hospital originally said its ER would be back to normal by Wednesday. But in its statement, Grady said it is still working to "eliminate full diversion at Grady, as this will relieve some of the burden experienced by Atlanta's other hospitals."

A 24-inch water pipe burst Saturday afternoon, causing flooding on the sixth floor of the medical center.

“We are grateful that some Atlanta hospitals have been able to step in and deliver patient care during our emergency,” the hospital said. “We recognize the serious burden these institutions experienced as they collectively provided care to those who were not able to come to our emergency department via ambulance.”

Grady, considered a regional leader in trauma care, typically sees more than 450 emergency room visits every day. But because of the diversion status, about 200 patients per day who arrived to the ER on their own have received care.

Emory Healthcare said Tuesday that its midtown location went into diversion mode because of the high volume of patients from Grady.

Grady transferred 45 patients to other hospitals and transported 30 to post-acute care facilities.