Some ser­vices re­main sus­pended as nox­ious fumes at CRH iden­ti­fied

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Adrian Frater News Ed­i­tor adrian.frater@glean­erjm.com

AS THE Corn­wall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal (CRH) takes steps to re­solve the vexed is­sue of the nox­ious fumes af­fect­ing the health fa­cil­ity, mem­bers of the public are be­ing ad­vised that only emer­gency cases will be dealt with at the Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency De­part­ment.

In fact, some of the ur­gent cases will be di­verted to the nearby Mt Salem Health Cen­tre. Per­sons with non-ur­gent cases are be­ing asked to visit the health cen­tres near­est to them.

The hos­pi­tal’s out­pa­tient clin­ics, which had sus­pended ser­vices be­cause of the of­fen­sive fumes, will not re­sume full op­er­a­tions un­til the sit­u­a­tion is re­solved. In the in­terim, it will only be deal­ing with re­nal dial­y­sis, ra­dio­ther­apy, an­te­na­tal, urol­ogy and psy­chi­a­try. All other out­pa­tients’ mat­ters, to in­clude the fill­ing of pre­scrip­tions, will be ad­dressed at the Mt Salem Health Cen­tre.

It should also be noted that blood donor ser­vices, which is of­fered at the in­fec­tion con­trol cen­tre, near the hos­pi­tal’s lower car park, and di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices such as X-ray and lab­o­ra­tory, are closed to out­pa­tients.

X-RAY SYS­TEM SOURCE OF FUMES

Mean­while, just un­der two weeks since nox­ious fumes from the hos­pi­tal’s ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem caused the hos­pi­tal to scale down ac­tiv­i­ties on the first, sec­ond and third floors, the source of the prob­lem has been iden­ti­fied.

In a re­lease from the Western Re­gional Health Au­thor­ity yes­ter­day, it was dis­closed that in­ves­ti­ga­tions had re­vealed that the hos­pi­tal’s

X-Ray sys­tem was the source of the fumes which had been seep­ing through the ven­ti­la­tion network and giv­ing off the of­fen­sive odour.

“This con­fir­ma­tion has come af­ter ex­ten­sive and de­tailed en­gi­neer­ing probe through­out the first three floors of the hos­pi­tal, which is the area af­fected,” said Anthony Smikle, the hos­pi­tal’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

“Ear­lier this af­ter­noon (Thurs­day), stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing the Min­istry of Health, the board of di­rec­tors, se­nior man­age­ment and tech­ni­cal ex­perts, met to re­view the sit­u­a­tion ... . We are now await­ing fur­ther rec­om­men­da­tion on how to con­tain the area of con­tam­i­na­tion,” added Smikle.

Smikle fur­ther dis­closed that steps are cur­rently be­ing taken to ad­just the ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem, which is key to the restora­tion

of nor­mal­ity. He said the ex­er­cise should be com­pleted within 10 to 15 days.

On Septem­ber 27, call­ers to the Gleaner’s Western Bureau re­ported that nox­ious fumes were caus­ing an un­com­fort­able stench in­side the hos­pi­tal’s Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency De­part­ment and that med­i­cal per­son­nel had stopped work­ing and had va­cated the area. The hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tors sub­se­quently con­firmed the sit­u­a­tion and an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of ac­tiv­i­ties on the first, sec­ond and third floors.

“Now that the source of the prob­lem has been con­clu­sively iden­ti­fied, cor­rec­tive mea­sures are be­ing ex­pe­dited so as to have the ser­vices at the hos­pi­tal re­stored ex­pe­di­tiously,” said Smikle.

The Corn­wall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Mon­tego Bay, St James.

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