The surgical capacity at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has been seriously affected due to flooding at Kingston General Hospital (KGH).
According to KHSC, the flooding has damaged the unit that sterilizes surgical equipment, which will result in rescheduled surgeries at KGH.
“Patients who have planned surgical procedures at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s KGH site may soon be hearing from their surgeon’s office to have their surgical date reschedule,” KHSC said in a press release on Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019.
The Central Processing Service at KGH, which cleans the instruments the hospital uses for surgical procedures, was damaged due to the flooding, and will require extensive repairs before it can be reopened. Most scheduled surgical procedures for the next few days will be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date. Following that, all scheduled procedures will be prioritized based on the availability of both equipment and Operating Room capacity for an undetermined period of time.
As the region’s provider of complex, acute and specialty care, KHSC said they will work to retain capacity to handle emergency and trauma cases for Southeastern Ontario.
“We will not be able to complete most scheduled procedures, but we will continue to accept high priority emergency and trauma cases based on the availability of equipment,” said President and CEO, Dr. David Pichora. “We have informed the other hospitals in our region, along with our other health care partners that we will not be able to accept multiple trauma cases or patient transfers from their organizations.”
Along with emergency and trauma cases, KHSC will continue to perform procedures for patients suffering from strokes and heart attacks, as these procedures are completed using disposable materials and do not require equipment that has been sterilized. High-risk obstetric patients along with those who go into labour will also continue to be cared for at the KGH site.
“We understand the stress and inconvenience this causes for our patients and families and we thank everyone for their patience and support as we address this significant issue together,” said Pichora. “Our staff are working around the clock to ensure that these repairs are completed as quickly as possible, but due to the extent of the damage we estimate that this could take as long as six weeks to complete.”
Patients whose surgeries will have to be rescheduled will be notified by phone by their surgeon’s office. If patients have a planned surgical procedure and have not contacted by their surgeon’s ahead of time, the surgery will proceed as planned. Patients who have questions or concerns about their surgical procedure should contact their surgeon’s office directly.
Additionally, KHSC would like the public to know the following:
- Emergency patients can continue to visit the Emergency Department at KGH
- Less-urgent patients should attend the Urgent Care Centre at Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH)
- All clinics remain open at both the KGH and HDH sites