Following some plumbing issues, two operating rooms at Victoria General Hospital (VGH) were flooded with sewage just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The rooms were empty at the time.
Four scheduled surgeries were put on hold for two hours as the rooms needed to be investigated and fully sanitized, explained Island Health spokesperson Cheryl Bloxham. Two of the surgeries were completed later in the day and the others have been rescheduled. The rooms reopened on Thursday morning.
“First and foremost, we apologize to the patients who were affected by this incident and thank them for their understanding,” said Bloxham. “We appreciate how quickly our staff responded and the steps taken to mitigate the impact to patients.”
Bloxham noted that staff suspect the issues were caused by a blockage in the pipes. A foreign object may be to blame, but the blockage was flushed out by the time the pipes were investigated and it’s unclear where the foreign object could have come from, she said.
The hospital’s eight other operating rooms were unaffected.
In July 2018, VGH experienced a similar flood but the damage was more extensive. Four delivery rooms and four operating rooms were affected by a flood caused by a broken valve in a water pipe. Repairs took several days and some surgeries were moved to the Royal Jubilee Hospital.
At the time, VGH Director of Clinical Operation Mark Blanford pointed out that while the hospital has a diligent maintenance program, the building is over 35 years old.