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Leaking roof floods hospital ward

Monday, January 22, 2018

Nursing staff had to keep patients calm after torrents of water began flowing through the ceiling at Ward Seven of the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday, drenching files, furniture and other equipment.

In a video posted online, the water could be seen flowing from the roof in several places. About seven ceiling tiles and a vent appeared to be dislodged by the volume of the water.

A patient, who requested anonymity, said she became alarmed when she heard the water flowing.

“We could not do anything. None of us could get up. I had surgery and I could not get up to see where the water was coming from even though I wanted to,” the patient said.

She said nurses came across and told everyone to stay calm. The ward was cordoned off and security guards were placed at the doorway.

Janitors with mops were seen walking back and forth as they attempted to clean up the mess.

An official from the ward said nobody was authorised to comment saying the South West Regional Health Authority communications department will address the issue.

However, a hospital source said this was the second time in two weeks that a leak occurred.

Two Fridays ago, a leak developed on the same floor and wards 10A and 4 were adversely affected. All six theatres had to be shut down and more than a dozen patients were sent home, the source said.

Cancer patients who came to do elective surgeries were informed that their surgeries had to be postponed. The source also said that eight orthopaedic surgeries were also postponed.

Asked whether yesterday’s leak had impacted negatively on patients, the source said, “I can’t say but this leak will definitely affect the speed of giving the patients medication as well as the admission and discharge of patients because all of that is done in this area.”

Contacted yesterday, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said he saw the video footage of the leak. However, he referred enquiries to the CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority Gail Miller-Meade.

In a statement yesterday, SWRHA’s officials said the leak was discovered above the nurse’s station at the General Surgical Ward (Ward 7) of the SFGH extension.

“This caused some of the rooms to become flooded. Immediately, the Engineering and Maintenance teams were dispatched to identify and remedy the problem. It was discovered that the leak occurred due to the collapse of a drain pipe in the air-conditioning system. As a result, all electrical fixtures were isolated and repairs have been completed. Further investigations will be conducted to ensure that this does not occur in the future,” SWRHA said.

Since the leak, SWRHA said the Nurses’ Station at the ward has since been temporarily relocated to another room on the same ward.

“Patients and Theatre Services were not affected as our medical teams continue to provide care to our patients,” SWRHA said.


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