Blood collection back to normal at Corner Brook hospital following break of sprinkler

All is back to normal at Western Health in Corner Brook following damage to the hospital's sprinkler system.

Western Health says patients shouldn't experience delays, cancellations

Cynthia Davis, vice-president of patient services and chief nursing officer at Western Health, says all blood collection centres in the region are up and running Monday. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Western Health says it's business as usual Monday following what officials say was an intentional break of the Corner Brook hospital's sprinkler system.

The break, at Western Memorial Regional Hospital, caused flooding and excessive damage. As a result, five blood collection centres were closed in western Newfoundland on Friday, and several surgeries were cancelled or rescheduled. 

"Our services are back online. As usual, processing will happen throughout the region today and you should not experience any delays or cancellations of procedures related to what happened last week," Cynthia Davis, vice-president of patient services and chief nursing officer, told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.

Davis said Friday's setback was significant. While the lab is back to about 80 per cent functionality, the microbiology section is still closed.

Microbiology services determine if bacteria are growing on specimens and do not require the same urgency as other lab services, Davis said. 

"There's going to be continued delays in that type of testing, but we've got contingency plans in terms of sending that out to our other health authority partners in Central and Eastern Health," Davis said.

"So, for the general public, they will see no real disruption in their services. We'll send that out on a regular basis to our provincial partners."

Corner Brook man arrested and charged

A 20-year-old Corner Brook man has been arrested and charged with one count of mischief over $5,000 as well as one count of causing a false fire alarm following the incident.

Davis said there are ongoing assessments to determine the extent of the damage.

"As I walked through the building … I was surprised by the extent of the damage in terms of the water, and then 12 hours later as I walked again through the building I was absolutely overwhelmed and so proud of our staff in terms of what they had done to quickly try and contain and mitigate what was going on," Davis said.

"And for the general public, I certainly want to reassure you that our staff [members] are committed to you and your care and that was evident by what I saw when I walked through the building."

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show