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Surgeries, CT scans on hold at Stanton hospital after equipment breaks down

Forty-five CT scans and 12 surgeries have been cancelled since the CT scanner and sterilization machine broke down. Technicians are set to repair the equipment, but it's unclear how long that will take.

Scanner and sterilization machine are under repair, unclear when it will be complete

Most surgeries and CT scans at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife have been cancelled after equipment broke down. (CBC)

Surgeries and other medical procedures at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife have been cancelled after the hospital's CT scanner and sterilizing equipment broke down.

The CT scanner is being repaired, but 45 CAT scans have been cancelled. They will be rescheduled once those repairs are complete, according to a news release from the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority on Thursday.

Twelve surgeries have been cancelled since the main sterilization tool went offline.

The hospital's backup sterilization machines are available for emergencies and some priority cases, but they're operating on a reduced capacity. A repair technician is scheduled to be at the hospital to look at the machine Thursday. 

If there is an emergency that needs care that cannot be provided at Stanton, patients can be medevaced to Alberta, the release states.

It's not clear when the repairs will be complete. Patients who have had their procedures cancelled will be contacted directly.

Equipment cancelled surgeries before 

Issues with the sterilization machine have flared up at Stanton hospital before.

In 2011, at least 290 surgeries were cancelled or postponed as a precaution after the hospital's sterilization equipment broke down twice that year, necessitating more than $100,000 in repairs.

At the time, steam generation was singled out as the problem, after hospital staff observed minor water stains on surgical equipment following steam sterilization.

In 2017, at least 45 surgeries were cancelled after the sterilization machine failed.

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