Despite a good start to the recommencement of elective surgery at West Gippsland Hospital from July 15 unfortunately there has been a new issue associated with air conditioning.
In general terms, an airspeed sensor has failed in the air conditioning system, so the fans are running faster than normal and blowing fine particles of dust into the theatres.
“Air testing results show no microbial activity which indicates there are no bugs circulating in the system or in the theatres. As a result WGHG has cancelled elective surgeries until Monday August 12.”
Chief Executive Officer, Dan Weeks, said work is being conducted to repair speed controllers and sensors on fans and there will be cleaning of ducts and filters. A longer term solution is to put new filters at the end of the ducts where they enter the theatres. In the meantime, our top priority is to always put patient and staff safety first.”
The emergency procedure unit has been re-established for obstetric emergency surgery and life/limb surgery.
Mr Weeks said patients and consultant were being contacted to re-schedule urgent cases.
“We are considering all options to best address the needs of our patients. Gippsland Southern Health Service and Bass Coast Health have been assisting with urgent surgery and Latrobe Regional Hospital and Monash Casey have been assisting with Obstetrics.”
The two theatres re-opened on July 15 after undergoing repairs caused by building works being undertaken to construct a new third operating theatre next to the existing theatres. The two existing theatres have since been re-sealed with new walls, ceiling and floors.
Mr Weeks thanked patients, staff, medical consultants and the community for their patience during this disruptive period.
“It has been a challenging six months for the hospital with three major construction projects underway simultaneously. However, we are looking forward to the opening, in the next few weeks, of the new Short Stay Unit built to support the Emergency Department.”
“A new driveway and new patient drop off area will also open once safety fencing is installed. The new third operating Theatre is on schedule for completion in September.”