San Jose hospital scrambles after losing power

The Associated Press
Friday December 28, 2001

SAN JOSE – Doctors scrambled to stabilize about a dozen patients after power went off Thursday evening at a San Jose hospital. 

The lights went out at Good Samaritan Hospital shortly before 7 p.m. when a backup generator failed after it kicked on because the surrounding area had already gone black, according to Pacific Gas and Electric. 

Doctors and nurses struggled to help two patients in operating rooms — including one woman who was having a Caesarean section — and about another 10 in the intensive care unit, said fire department Sgt. Mark Mooney. 

“It was pretty bad for a moment,” Mooney said. 

The hospital prepared ambulances to transport patients to nearby hospitals, but fire officials were able to target emergency backup power to critical areas of the hospital, Mooney said. 

No one was moved and none of the patients suffered, he said. In fact, a girl was born under emergency lights firefighters had wheeled in. 

By 8 p.m., power was restored to the hospital, though not to 2,200 customers in the area southwest of downtown San Jose, PG&E spokeswoman Maureen Bogues said. The cause of the outage was not immediately known.