- Associated Press - Thursday, February 3, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) — Delivering medical care in a blizzard proved challenging for hospitals throughout the Midwest. The University of Chicago Medical Center is an example.

It was full of patients before the storm hit. So more than 200 doctors, nurses and medical staff camped overnight Tuesday and Wednesday on cots and gurneys. Many were called in ahead of the storm to provide continuous care during the blizzard. Spokesman John Easton says as snow piled up, the hospital sent rented four-wheel drive vehicles to fetch staffers stuck at home.

Easton says the emergency room was strangely deserted because ambulances couldn’t navigate unplowed side streets. Outpatient clinics and elective surgeries were canceled.

By Thursday, things were picking up, with some outpatient services including chemotherapy resuming. In Easton’s words, “We seem to be over the hump.”