The operating room at Grace Hospital is back open after Winnipeg’s heat wave forced doctors to cancel 16 surgeries.
Bronwyn Penner-Holigroski, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, says hospital protocols mandate that ORs close when humidity levels reach 60 per cent. At that level, condensation begins to be a problem for instruments and equipment and makes it difficult to maintain proper sterilization levels. An alarm even goes off.
The OR was closed Thursday morning, forcing the cancellation of 16 surgeries, almost all of them non-emergencies. The urgent cases were transferred to Health Science Centre.
The OR reopened Friday afternoon, and the climate appears stable.
"It seems to be under control this evening," said Penner-Holigroski.
Humidity-related closures happen occasionally in Winnipeg and even more often in hotter climes. Penner-Holigroski said there are no concerns at other hospitals in Winnipeg.