March 8, 2016 7:15 pm

Red Deer hospital flood damage more extensive than first thought

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Friday, March 6, 2015.

Global News

Several operating rooms at the Red Deer Regional Hospital will be closed for upwards of six weeks after a flood at the facility earlier this month.

The flood happened on March 1. At the time, four of the nine operating theatres were shut down due to the damage.

Over the weekend, Alberta Health Services learned there was water damage in one more operating room that wasn’t initially identified. As of March 6, the fifth operating room is not in use.

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“We’re operating with four of our nine theatres,” Kerry Bales, chief zone officer of Alberta Health Service’s Central Zone, said.

READ MORE: Red Deer hospital flooding causing surgery delays

Bales said construction on the affected operating rooms to begin this week, “barring any unforeseen circumstances.” He expects it’ll be four to six weeks before they’re back up and running.

“Right now we’re prioritizing our time on urgent and emergent, life-threatening surgeries and procedures,” Bales said Tuesday. “And then we are booking the rest of our available time around elective procedures.”

The working ORs will be in use during the evenings and on the weekends to try to compensate for some of the delayed procedures. Bales said impacted patients are being contacted directly.

“This is extremely unfortunate and it’s regrettable that we’re inconveniencing some folks in this way. We know that this is a serious matter for them. I think on the whole, though, people are generally understanding of the circumstance.”

Some of the procedures are being rescheduled at other facilities in the area, in Innisfail and Olds. Bales said AHS is looking into the possibility of moving some surgical procedures to Edmonton and Calgary.

The exact cause of the flood is under investigation, but Bales said it was related to construction being done on the second floor of the hospital.

“We have no reason to believe that it was any failed infrastructure but we’re trying to determine exactly what it was.”

It’s not known how much the restoration work will cost, Bales said.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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