Flooding at Misericordia hospital causes surgery delays

Heavy rainfall early Saturday morning led to a pipe leak that has impacted the day surgery unit at the Misericordia Community Hospital.

Heavy rainfall led to a pipe leak, which flooded the day surgery unit and other areas

Some patients waiting on various surgeries and procedures at the Misericordia Community Hospital may have to wait longer.

Heavy rainfall early Saturday morning led to flooding that had an impact some surgical areas, including the endoscopy, cystoscopy and day surgery units. Janet Schimpf, the senior operating officer at the Misericordia Hospital, estimates that about 300 patients could be affected by the flooding.

“We have our emergency operation centre open and we’re working for mitigations strategies so we can minimize the disruption to our patients and make sure we have a safe environment within our building,” said Schimpf.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is looking at the capacity across the Edmonton zone and will try to get the Misericordia patients rebooked and rescheduled elsewhere so they can get their needed care as quickly as possible.  

Schimpf said a drain pipe on the roof cracked allowing rainwater to flood into the day surgery unit. The water then tracked down into the sterile processing area, where the hospital stores sterile supplies.

Although hospital officials are unsure of how long repairs will take, they say the area that holds sterile supplies will be the first to be back up and running.

This isn't the first time that leaky pipes have caused problem at the Misericordia Hospital.

One doctor previously told CBC that staff work in third world conditions. Staff had said that leaky pipes, broken elevators and makeshift ICU's are a part of daily life.

Health Minister Fred Horne received a tour of the damaged area Sunday and said he still believes Edmonton needs a new facility to replace the aging Misericordia Hospital.

“There is absolutely no questions that the Misericordia requires replacement,” he said. “I want to make it clear — we’re not starting this discussion now. We’ve been planning this for some time.”

Horne said Covenant Health — which runs the Misericordia Hospital — is providing him and AHS with an estimate of how much additional funding they might require over the next five to eight years to keep the hospital running while they build new capacity elsewhere.

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