Hospital worker on winter storm: 'People are really suffering'

"I've had dead people come in with higher temperatures than some of these patients," one Houston ER nurse said.

Video Transcript

SHELLY CHILDERS: Our frontline workers tonight dealing with disasters within the disaster. Houston hospitals filling up, ambulance calls reportedly at a 300% increase. ER nurse Renee [INAUDIBLE] working since Sunday at LBJ hospital.

- This is a disaster in every sense of the word. And it's awful. And people are really suffering.

SHELLY CHILDERS: First, the power outages for millions spiraling into a health crisis.

- I've had dead people come in with higher temperatures than some of these patients.

SHELLY CHILDERS: Memorial Hermann Hospital alone taking in more than 100 carbon monoxide cases, many from families using charcoal grills to heat their homes.

- A lot of times we could smell it on them. We could smell the charcoal.

SHELLY CHILDERS: And then the water outages hit.

- Dialysis machines use water.

SHELLY CHILDERS: With little power and no clean water, dialysis clinics are forced to shut down as these patients facing kidney failure flood emergency centers, creating days-long wait times for the lifesaving treatment.

- We have to prioritize them based on their critical need, how close they are to becoming dangerously toxic because of the need for dialysis.

- Really, without dialysis, a lot of these patients could die.

SHELLY CHILDERS: Tonight, both Memorial Hermann and Harris Health Systems are back to normal power, but water remains a critical issue. Memorial Hermann is trucking water in as Harris Health distributes bottled water. Shelly Childers, ABC 13 Eyewitness News.