Eastern Health has advised that orthopedic elective surgeries will be postponed at the Health Sciences Centre for the week of March 7.
Eastern Health says surgeons brought the recommendation to the health authority as a proactive measure. Elective surgeries at St. John’s facilities have been impacted by staining and residue on surgical equipment which has been shown to be water based and not a risk for infection.
As has been the case all along, urgent and emergent surgeries will not be impacted by this current development.
“We are aware and support the decision by orthopedic surgeons to postpone scheduled elective surgeries at the Health Sciences Centre, said David Diamond, president and CEO of Eastern Health in a news release.
“We understand that this has been a difficult process for all involved and will continue to work with orthopedic surgeons and all staff for the benefit of patients.”
The release goes on to say that steps taken by the health authority have resulted in a considerable decrease in the degree of brown staining originally observed on towels but there is still incidents of black residue on some sterile surgical instruments in some services areas, including orthopedics.
Patients whose surgeries have been postponed will be contacted so that their surgery can be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity. Patients who have a surgery scheduled in the city this week are encouraged to call 1-877-720-2323 between 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday if they have any questions.
The current cost of the staining and residue to Eastern Health has been $2.7 million.
- $1.3 million for new instrumentation;
- $1.3 million which includes 900,000 related to a partnership with private Toronto company for reprocessing, expert advice and sourcing new equipment and around $400,000 in transportation for charter and commercial flights and ground transportation;
- $100,000 in overtime for staff.