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Victoria General Hospital reopens operating rooms ahead of schedule after flood damage

Four delivery and four operating rooms were affected by a broken water valve

Victoria General Hospital has re-opened some of the labour and delivery operating rooms that were closed due to water damage.

A total of four delivery rooms and four operating rooms were affected by a flood caused by a broken valve in a water pipe in the labour and delivery area during the early hours of July 10.

Mark Blandford, director of clinical operation at Victoria General, said the hospital had to divert 12 adult patient surgeries to Royal Jubilee Hospital, but all pediatric and C-section surgeries were performed at VGH. He said there are usually between 45 and 55 surgeries performed at VGH per day.

“Medical teams work continuously to manage available ORs throughout Greater Victoria and existing resources,” Blandford said. “We are so proud of our staff and medical teams who rallied during this very difficult time.”

Island Health’s facilities and maintenance team, alongside contractors have worked through the weekend and around the clock last week to have the operating rooms fully functioning a day sooner than expected.

However, the two adult operating rooms located below labour and delivery will be closed until the end of August for repairs, but Blandford said the hospital hasn’t lost capacity, as those rooms were closed for the summer due to staff vacations and fewer booked surgeries.

Blandford added they also have an infection control team and hospital-specific construction team that mitigate risks of dust or asbestos particles in the air affecting surgical patients, noting that no C-sections have been compromised since repairs began.

Construction was contained and any equipment was kept out of the way.

The building is 35 years old and the hospital has an aggressive maintenance program, which includes checking the pipe valves often, but Blandford said that although the valves are industrial standard, it is possible that it could happen again.


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