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WRHA 'cautiously optimistic' St. B ORs could be fixed in 2 weeks

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St. Boniface Hospital cancelled its surgeries after water flooded its operating rooms on Wednesday.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

St. Boniface Hospital cancelled its surgeries after water flooded its operating rooms on Wednesday. Photo Store

Surgeries could resume at St. Boniface General Hospital in one to two weeks, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says.

Dr. Brock Wright, the WRHA’s chief medical officer, said he is "cautiously optimistic" the hospital’s 14 operating rooms could be back in service within that time frame.

The ORs have been down since Wednesday morning when systems controlling the rooms’ temperature broke down. Cold air caused coils that regulate the temperature to freeze and burst, flooding the operating rooms.

The WRHA had initially feared that the repairs could take months. However, damage to drywall and insulation was lighter than originally expected.

So far, some 130 non-emergency surgeries and 20 cardiac procedures have been postponed as a result of the closure.

St. Boniface hospital, the second largest in the province, handles contains about 20 per cent of the city’s surgical capacity.

Hospital officials have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the heating and ventilation breakdown. But they said Friday that multiple systems went down at the same time.

Officials said it was too early to provide an estimate of how much it would cost to repair the damage. Nor could they estimate when the surgical backlog might be cleared up.

 

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