Over a two week period commencing April 12, six operating theatres at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) will be temporarily taken out of use as part of a preventative maintenance programme of work on the air-conditioning systems.

This work is expected to be completed by May 1. The two theatres that remain in operation will be used only for emergencies and urgent cases.

According to the director of Engineering Services, at the QEH, Paula Agbowu, "the work will entail the replacement of coils, cleaning and repair of the ducts, preparations for the humidity control of heaters, and where possible, the transfer of circuits in our electrical upgrade project." She pointed out that the environment in the operating rooms must be controlled at a certain temperature and laminar flow to lessen the risk of post-operative infection.

"You would recall that an assessment of the air-conditioning system was done in October last year and the determination was that the four coils needed to be replaced. We purchased them at a cost of some (BBD) $110,000 and they are here ready for installation. This programme of works will extend the useful life of the air-conditioning system to allow it to operate more efficiently," Ms Agbowu noted.

She revealed that 60 patients would be affected by the closure, and most of the operations that had been scheduled during this period were elective cases. Patients have been notified and new appointment dates will be programmed for them after the operating theatres have been reopened.

??"Patient safety is of the utmost priority to the QEH, and we decided to close the main theatre suite so that patient safety would not be compromised by the work in that area. While we recognise and regret that some patients will experience delays, it is the safest and most prudent decision given the circumstances," Ms. Agbowu elaborated.


Author: Melissa Rollock/Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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