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Jun 17
Planned/scheduled surgeries postponed today at RUH

8:30 AM - Royal University Hospital has experienced a partial power distribution failure. This is not a full power outage, but has affected some systems within the hospital, resulting in the postponement of all planned/scheduled surgeries at RUH today.

"Facilities were undertaking a planned power shutdown of emergency power overnight as part of the ongoing electrical upgrades at the hospital," says Nilesh Kavia, Saskatoon Health Region's vice-president of finance and corporate services. "Although contingency plans were in place, a piece of electrical equipment indirectly involved failed in a way that wasn't anticipated. This piece of equipment does not supply power, but it is involved in power distribution. Some medical systems at RUH are now affected including medical suction and air flow in the building, in particular in the operating rooms."

An emergency response system known as incident command is now in place at RUH. Facilities crews are working to re-route these systems to other distribution equipment, but it is not known how long this will take.

The Health Region has postponed all planned/scheduled surgeries at Royal University Hospital, including EP and cath lab. Affected patients will be prioritized for re-scheduling as soon as possible. Contingency plans are in place to support unplanned emergency surgeries at Royal University Hospital. Level 1 and Level 2 traumas will continue to be cared for at Royal University Hospital.

"Staff and physicians are working hard right now to minimize the effects on patients," says Kavia. "We ask for everyone's patience and understanding as we continue to work to restore the system and determine the timelines to do that."

Nilesh Kavia provided an update to media at 10:30 a.m. Watch the video here.

1:00 pm  Media Update from RUH Incident Command

Crews have been able to successfully re-route and restore power flow to the RUH medical systems affected early this morning by the unexpected partial failure of power distribution equipment. Tests are now underway to ensure all medical systems can be maintained.

Work continues to restore the water heating system in the hospital as well as the RUH parkade elevator. The parkade elevator shut down is a result of this incident. A contingency plan to assist patients and families requiring elevator access from the parkade is in place.

Scheduled/planned surgeries at RUH tomorrow are currently expected to proceed as planned. Patients who had planned/scheduled surgeries, including EP and Cath Lab procedures, and were postponed will be notified of their new surgical date. Surgeons and Health Region surgical scheduling will be working together to prioritize these postponed surgeries. Seventeen scheduled/planned surgeries at RUH were postponed.

Replacement of the RUH electrical system is one of the top priorities identified for Saskatoon Health Region. The electrical system upgrades underway, including the one that was happening last night when this incident occurred, are happening to minimize on-going risk of electrical system failure. More upgrades are planned and will be occurring over the coming months.

RUH Incident Command would like to thank everyone involved in this incident for their efforts and work to get the hospital back to normal operations. Thank-you to all our patients, families, employees and physicians for their patience and understanding.

RUH Incident Command will issue another update late this afternoon.


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