Hospital cancels elective surgery a third time
THE Princess Alexandra Hospital has cancelled elective surgery again today after last week having to postpone dozens of operations due to issues with its sterilisation equipment.
The hospital said 18 elective operations on Thursday and another 28 on Friday had to be rescheduled after an unusual stain was found on the wrapping of packs of sterilised surgical instruments.
PA Hospital director of infectious diseases Geoffrey Playford said on Friday an investigation had traced the problem to a new chemical used in the steam-generating process.
Dr Playford said rigorous testing of the instruments had confirmed they were sterile and safe to use.
The sterilisation unit's steam lines were expected to be purged at the weekend to remove the chemical trace and elective surgery was due to return to normal by today.
But a spokeswoman for the Metro South Hospital and Health Service, which includes the Princess Alexandra Hospital, confirmed today that elective surgery had been postponed again.
"To allow the team to catch up, elective surgeries scheduled for Monday 26 August were deferred with early communication to those patients ahead of today's list," she said.
"Emergency surgery is still prioritised at PAH with major trauma being undertaken with the support of our teams at Logan and QEII Hospitals today.
"PAH will schedule additional elective surgeries from tomorrow, and we thank our patients in advance for their understanding.
"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience to affected patients."
The spokeswoman said all sterilisers at the hospital were operational again.