The South Shore Regional Hospital's three operating rooms are closed today for an emergency repair of the hospital's air handling unit. 

The operating rooms are expected to be back in service by Thursday.

Approximately 50 patients scheduled for elective procedures may be impacted by the closures.

"Our immediate concern is patient safety. We need to do this repair to ensure proper air exchange and ventilation in the operating rooms, which is critical for infection prevention and control," said Lynn Farrell, vice-president of health services with South Shore Health.

"Cancelling elective surgery is not a decision we take lightly. We certainly understand and regret the concern and inconvenience this delay may cause our patients and will be doing our best to reschedule the procedures as quickly as possible,” she said.

During the temporary closure, emergency surgeries will be performed in the hospital's obstetrics unit which has a fully-functioning operating suite.

South Shore Health officials say they have also contacted neighbouring health authorities who have offered support if necessary.

These patients are being contacted directly by hospital staff and will have their cases rescheduled as soon as possible.