Flood-damaged operating rooms in Thompson won’t be repaired until March

Surgeries remain limited to life- and limb-saving procedures, emergency C-sections

The three operating rooms at the Thompson General Hospital that were shut down in June as a result of water damage will not be ready for use until early in March, the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) says.

Previously, an opening date of January had been expected but unspecified production delays mean it won’t be ready until about three months later.

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“Surgical procedures remain limited to life and limb-saving surgeries and emergency C-sections,” said NRHA communications co-ordinator Twyla Storey Dec. 4.

All but one of the hospital's four operating rooms were knocked out of commission in June as a result of water damage from a faulty rooftop air conditioning unit. Elective surgeries and procedures were cancelled as a result. 

By mid-July 123 surgeries had been cancelled and 27 others performed at other health care facilities in Manitoba. At that time, the NRHA was predicting it would be four to six months before the operating rooms were ready to be used again.

While the operating rooms have been unavailable, the hospital has aimed to keep one surgeon and one anesthetist on call at all times, NRHA CEO Helga Bryant told the Thompson Citizen in July, along with one obstetrician and three operating room nurses.

The Thompson General Hospital’s operating room area was originally built in 1957 and renovated to the current layout in 1972.

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