March 12, 2019 5:56 pm
Updated: March 12, 2019 6:20 pm

Flooding at Kingston General Hospital hampers surgical unit

The area of the hospital affected by flooding is where surgical tools are sterilised.

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Those with upcoming surgeries scheduled at Kingston General Hospital could have their appointments rescheduled.

Over the weekend the pipes underneath an above-ground floor became backed up and burst. Contents ended up on the basement floor and damaged the building’s central processing unit, where tools used during surgeries are cleaned and sterilized.

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“It’s a bigger deal than it would have been in lots of other places,” Kingston Health Sciences Centre president and CEO, David Pichora said.

None of the equipment was damaged, but the flooring was and will likely need to be replaced. Pichora estimates it could be four to six weeks before the unit is up and running again.

As it happens, the surgical unit at nearby Hotel Dieu Hospital is currently closed for maintenance, so Kingston General Hospital will send its tools there to be cleaned, which will alleviate some of the stress on staff.

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“We’re using it to prepare equipment to go back and forth to the KGH (operating room). That’s able to keep a few of our operating rooms running on this site,” Pichora said. “The Hotel Dieu facility is not as big as the KGH one so it’s not a one-to-one cover-off but it’s helping a lot.”

Kingston Health Sciences officials are in the process of bringing a mobile processing unit from the United States to Kingston as a stopgap until the hospital’s unit is repaired.

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