By Lillian Donahue|February 22, 2020 at 6:56 PM EST - Updated February 24 at 3:48 AM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In under 12 hours, paramedics and hospital staff moved 200 patients into the new Medical University of South Carolina’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital Saturday.
The unprecedented move took months of planning.
"I've been in EMS almost 30 years," Chris Es'Dorn, Assistant Director of Family Medical Transport said. "I don't think we've ever shut down a hospital and opened up another one and transferred patients out at this magnitude before."
Medical teams from across the tri-county started moving children before sunrise. According to MUSC staff, they used more than 30 ambulances to take children and mothers from Jonathan Lucas St. to Courtenay Dr.
They divided the patients into four groups for the move, settling the most critical patients in first.
Es’Dorn said the large-scale operation also provides critical practice for first-responders in the case of a mass evacuation.
"We had theorized how we were going to manage moving patients whether it was a disaster or if we are just going to actually be able just to transfer patients based on their level of acuity from one side to another," Es'Dorn said.
The new hospital is 625,000 square feet, includes more than 200 beds an 82-room NICU unit.
The total cost of the children's hospital and the women's pavilion is around 389 million dollars.
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