Ventilation system water leak leads to surgery cancellations at new health centre

Harry Sullivan
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TRURO – An emergency hospital patient had to be transported to another facility following a water leak in the operating room area at the Colchester East Hants Health Care centre.

Surgery cancellations

As well, 10 surgeries scheduled for Monday had to be cancelled because of the water disruption, which originated in the ventilation system, health authority spokeswoman Krista Wood said.

The leak was discovered at approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday when a team member found water leaking into one of the operating suites at the hospital.

Crews, who were on hand within the hour to begin clean up, correct the problem and assess the damage, remained on site throughout Monday, Wood said.

A number of rooms on the unit were impacted including operating suites and locker rooms. The damage was minimal and none of the new operating room equipment was damaged, she said.

The problem was traced back to an issue with the ventilation system that pumps humidified air (sterile steam) into the operating rooms. The malfunction led to a higher concentration of steam entering the vents, which condensed into water, pooled in the ducts and leaked into rooms in the area.

By late Monday afternoon, two of the health centre's four operating suites were back in service, enabling emergency surgeries to safely resume as needed and to allow for surgeries to proceed as scheduled on Tuesday.

Many of the surgeries postponed on Monday have been rescheduled for later in the week while others will be re-booked on a priority basis as soon as possible.

Staff are continuing to assess the situation to determine how soon all of the operating suites will be back in service, Wood said, and whether further cancellations will be necessary in the coming days.



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