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Flood douses dozens of surgeries at LGH

ALMOST 60 surgeries were cancelled at Lions Gate Hospital this week after a problem with a pipe sent water gushing down through several floors.

ALMOST 60 surgeries were cancelled at Lions Gate Hospital this week after a problem with a pipe sent water gushing down through several floors.

Seven of nine operating rooms on the second floor of the hospital were shut down Wednesday and 43 elective surgeries were cancelled while staff worked to clean up damage caused by the flood. A number of the rooms were back up and running on Thursday, but 15 cataract surgeries were cancelled while the work continued.

Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit on the third floor were temporarily moved over to the pediatric wing. Food service was also delayed at the hospital after three of four elevators were shut down when water compromised the electrical systems.

The flood was triggered Wednesday when water started coursing out of a break or leak in a pipe on the hospitals third floor, said Anna Marie DAngelo, spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health.

The health authority isnt sure yet what caused the problem, but it happened in an area where work is being done to replace the pipes, she said, near an elevator in the labour and delivery unit of the maternity ward.

It was only on for three minutes, but it was a three-inch pipe, said DAngelo. It did do water damage, on the third floor especially.

The flood reached the operating rooms on the second floor before continuing downwards.

Hospital staff had planned to divert any women in labour to other hospitals Wednesday, but that wasnt needed, said DAngelo. Three urgent cancer surgeries did go ahead at the hospital and two operating rooms were still available for emergency surgeries, she added.

The cancelled elective procedures ranged from orthopedics to abdominal surgeries to hip and knee replacements. Those surgeries will be rescheduled as soon as possible, said DAngelo. They dont go to the bottom of the list.

Insurance adjusters were at LGH Thursday assessing the damage. All but one of the elevators were up and running Thursday..

jseyd@nsnews.com