Christine Predy

Surrey Memorial Hospital back to normal surgery

All ORs running again but other hospitals feeling ER pressure



All nine operating rooms at Surrey Memorial Hospital are now up and running again after all but one was shut down in the wake of Monday’s flood.

Fraser Health officials say there should be no more surgery postponements as a result of the hospital disruption that has added pressure on other hospitals in the region.

They still expect it will take up to two weeks to reopen the closed ER, where crews continue restoration work.

Ambulances are taking emergency patients that would normally go to Surrey to Langley Memorial, Royal Columbian and Burnaby hospitals instead.

Royal Columbian has seen a 27 per cent increase in emergency volume as a result, Fraser Health spokesman Roy Thorpe-Dorward said.

“Although busy they are managing with the increased load,” he said.

Other hospitals are also feeling heavier traffic because of the closed ER at Surrey Memorial.

Peace Arch Hospital is running 36 per cent above its usual ER volume as more emergency cases arrive there instead.

Burnaby is running at 10 per cent above normal and Langley Memorial is 16 per cent higher than usual.

A total of 108 surgeries slated for Monday and Tuesday were rescheduled following the water main break that sent water gushing through SMH’s ER.

How quickly the delayed surgeries are performed will depend on the procedure, its urgency and how many new emergency surgeries must be done, Thorpe-Dorward said.

Patients heading to SMH are being redirected to a temporary ER and triage area at the nearby Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgical Centre.

It can handle 180 patients a day and so far saw only 75 patients in the first two days.

There’s no damage cost estimate yet but it will be “significant.”

Surrey Memorial is fully insured but it’s expected damage will be covered by the insurance of the contractor whose machine burst the water main.

It’s not yet known how badly key diagnostic imaging equipment is damaged.

Much equipment – such as ultrasound machines – are wall-mounted and weren’t affected by the flood.

“Yesterday it looked like a disaster zone in here,” said Christine Predy, a manager at SMH who witnessed the knee-high flood on Monday.

ER staff moved patients who were near the wall after the contractor warned that there was water building behind it.

Staff soon saw the water building behind the glass wall and had another three minutes to get patients out before it burst and sent water gushing through the ER.

“The water ran through for about 20 minutes – there was so much water built up behind that wall it took that long to come through,” Predy said. “A river of current came through the department.”

Workers have cut away the bottom foot or so of drywall at the bottom of all the ER walls and officials say the cleanup work is going well.

Water leaks in hospitals – often due to plumbing mishaps – are not unusual, according to SMH facilities manager Mitch Weimer.

He said the incident requires careful cleanup, but does not pose structural problems.

SMH is the busiest ER in western Canada, handling 100,000 patients a year.

Thorpe-Dorward said it would have been “much more challenging” to respond to the flood had the Jim Pattison centre not opened nearby two years ago, taking over most diagnostic scans and day surgery.

 

Just Posted

Giddy Up – annual Mustang car show comes to Langley

The Mustang has been on the market for 55 years, and owners gather to celebrate the iconic Ford.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Debussy, Chopin, Bartok, and a selection of Celtic favourites

‘Music for a summer afternoon’ features live harp and flute performances at Trinity Western House

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Border agents carry out raid at Hastings Racecourse

Dozens were spoken to, witnesses say

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Most Read