Electrical faults with generators to blame for outages at EWMSC

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Electrical faults with generators to blame for outages at EWMSC

A number of services were left off the grid at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex over the weekend following two power outages.

Between Saturday and yesterday two outages caused some disruptions in healthcare delivery.

However, Davlin Thomas, CEO of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) said electrical faults with generators are to blame.
Thankfully, Thomas said protocols were implemented to mitigate the disruptions and critical services were unhindered. He said the faults were discovered during a weekly test of the hospital’s electrical system and teams were working to rectify it, which caused the outages.

In a GML report, Thomas said there was load shedding and some services like X-Ray, MRI and CT scans were left off the grid until the problem was fixed.

He said patients requiring these services were sent to the Arima General Hospital and 11 hemodialysis patients were sent to other hospitals within the NCRHA to receive treatment. However, critical services were given priority electricity supply and remain unaffected, such as those in the Accident and Emergency Department, wards and intensive care units.

Thomas said the hospital rented additional generators for further electrical supply while the work is being carried out.

“We basically have three or four tiers of contingencies for electrical supply that buys us a number of hours if we did have the reason to escalate to that,” Thomas said.

“If the need had arisen, and it didn’t, we had the wider hospital network, the NWRHA (North West Regional Health Authority), the ERHA (Eastern Regional Health Authority) and certainly the South West to count on who is also standing by,” he said.

The hospital’s incident response team of more than 60 people has been on the ground since work began and is conducting continuous assessments. This team, which includes biomedical and mechanical engineers, paid particular attention to medical equipment to ensure they were not damaged during the repairs.