Watch the video above: Cancelled surgeries at RUH in Saskatoon push wait times back
SASKATOON – Power is on again at Royal University Hospital; however, officials say the site does not have a back-up power system for key areas in the event of another failure.
In total, 37 surgeries were postponed on Tuesday and Wednesday after a piece of electrical equipment failed unexpectedly.
On Tuesday night, power was restored to medical systems and adequate airflow registered in operating rooms at the Saskatoon hospital.
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With all services returning to normal on Thursday, the health region will move ahead with all scheduled surgeries.
Patients who has surgeries cancelled are said to have been contacted directly by their surgeon’s office and will be penciled back in the schedule.
“I think it will be over the week or a little bit more so we’ve scheduled a few patients into the next two days and we’re looking at next week,” said Jackie Mann, Saskatoon Health Region’s vice president of integrated health services.
The goal – to have surgeries scheduled as soon as possible.
“There’s a number of things that go into this right from the availability of the patient, to the entire team, some of the surgeries require more than one surgeon so we just have to really look at how can we move things around to make sure we can get these people in,” said Mann.
The postponed procedures included heart and brain surgery, which can only be done at RUH.
Officials say two operating rooms were available for emergency surgeries both days, with one surgery performed.
Contingency plans were in place to ensure that systems without emergency backup power did not pose a risk.
“The example of what actually did happen two nights ago demonstrates that we’ve got the ability to respond and have some mitigation plans in place when things do fail,” said Nilesh Kavia, SHR’s VP of finance and corporate services.
The root cause of the distribution panel failure is still unknown and occurred during a planned power shutdown.
The cost of the disruption is yet to be calculated.
“Our infrastructure is a key concern for us. The project that we were working through is one of a multiple step process for us to resolve the infrastructure issues particularly related to electricity and we want to get to a stage where we have a comprehensive failure safe situation at RUH,” said Kavia.
Officials say it could take some time to get there, but this was one of the initial steps to help get to a sustainable state.