Impact of Hurricane Katrina on healthcare delivery for New Orleans patients, 2005–2014

Chittalsinh Raulji, Maria C. Velez, Pinki Prasad, Cierra Rousseau, Renee V. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Hematology/oncology patients have special health needs. To identify barriers to care, we surveyed patients/parents at Children's Hospital of New Orleans 1 year after Hurricane Katrina. We then implemented a “Hurricane Action Plan”—identification of families’ evacuation plans at each hurricane season's onset; of hospital(s) and pharmacies in the intended evacuation area; updating roadmaps/treatment plans; giving information to families requiring hematology/oncology services in evacuation areas. Administration of a second survey was initiated 7 years post Katrina to assess the efficacy of the “Hurricane Action Plan.”. Methods: Both surveys were conducted on random patients attending Children's Hospital. Survey #1 was performed in 2006, while survey #2 was conducted in 2013–2014. Results: Eighty-nine percent of 124 families left New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; only 50% had an evacuation plan. Twenty-five percent of families had difficulty physically accessing care; others (13%) could not find a hematology/oncology provider for follow-up and had difficulty reaching their primary provider or making appointments. An additional 25 percent did not have access to medical records. There was no access to mental health services. Eighty- two patients/representatives were surveyed in 2013/2014; 72% of families were evacuated during subsequent hurricane seasons with 78% of families having an evacuation plan. Thirty-six percent of patients had a roadmap/treatment plan with them; 71% had a 2-week medication supply. Ninety-two percent found information given to them by providers helpful. Conclusions: Interventions instituted to allow greater access to care by our hematology/oncology patients after Hurricane Katrina resulted in better preparedness, easier acquisition of information, and possibly better continuity of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27406
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Psychosocial
  • Support care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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