Juravinski cancer centre to resume most services on Thursday
By Mark Newman, News Staff
Officials at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton are still adding up the damage after cold weather-related broken pipes caused major flooding at the Juravinski cancer centre on Concession Street and at St. Joes’ surgical tower on Charlton Avenue.
The flooding forced the closure of the cancer centre on Wednesday while the operating rooms and the emergency department at St. Joes were also shut down.
No patients were affected by the flooding.
Next door to the cancer centre, the Juravinski hospital was not affected by the flood
During a conference call with hospital officials on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Ralph Meyer, president of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, said a pipe ruptured around 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the third floor administrative area resulting in a large gush of water that went through the ceilings and down the stairwells affecting the chemotherapy suite on the second floor, the patient assessment area on the first floor and the ground floor radiation unit.
“There was water on all three floors,” he said.
Cancer centre staff moved quickly to shift computers and other equipment and pharmacy materials out of the path of the water in the chemotherapy suite.
“We’re not aware of any equipment damage,” Meyer said.
Drying and dehumidifying machines are scattered about both locations.
Meyer noted cancer centre staff spent much of Tuesday night calling chemotherapy patients to inform them their next day appointments had been cancelled.
As many as 100 patients visit the chemotherapy suite each day and overall, the cancer centre sees 800 patients per day.
Meyer said chemotherapy services will resume on Thursday in areas of the suite that were not affected by the flooding and they may move to extended hours to make up for the loss of service on Wednesday.
The radiation unit, which served some patients on Wednesday afternoon, is expected back to full service on Thursday.
Over at St. Joes, president Dr. David Higgins said a pipe burst on the second floor of the two-and-a-half-year-old surgical tower around 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday resulting in structural or equipment damage in all 12 operating rooms.
“All the rooms were affected to some degree,” he said.
The hospital’s sterilization system was also affected by the flooding.
St. Joes has closed the operating rooms and emergency department and they are not expected to re-open for several days, possibly Monday.
A number of elective surgeries were cancelled at the JHCC and Hamilton General Hospital on Wednesday and more have been cancelled for Thursday so those operating rooms can take some patients from St. Joes and both hospitals opened additional beds and called in more emergency department and other staff to handle the increased demand for services.
The downtown hospital may also make use of the four operating rooms at its east end urgent care facility until the operating rooms in the surgical tower re-open.
Higgins said with the exception of the emergency department and the operating rooms, all other services at the Charlton Avenue hospital should resume on Thursday.