Health region carries on through blackout

Braden
Braden Dupuis
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While business, communication and indeed most facets of life in Prince Albert came to a standstill with the blackout on Tuesday,the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region did its best to keep operations running smoothly.

The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is doing its best to weather the storm.

By Braden Dupuis

While business, communication and indeed most facets of life in Prince Albert came to a standstill with the blackout on Tuesday,the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region did its best to keep operations running smoothly.

"We're still doing business as usual," said Carol Gregoryk, vice president of integrated health services with the region.

"The issue, of course, is that we haven't got a lot of air circulation, so the temperature in the (Victoria Hospital) is very humid, and getting hot."

Many main facilities within the region, including the Victoria Hospital, were operating on backup power on Tuesday.

"We do have two generators that are running and running well," Gregoryk said.

"Everything is still running. All of the basic emergency services and all of the monitoring systems, oxygen and suction are still working.

"As long as we have fuel for the generators, we'll be fine."

The lack of electricity meant elective surgeries had to be cancelled.

"We can't be putting people at risk that way, so we have cancelled that. We are on backup power throughout the hospital and the regional health centre, which includes the Herb Bassett Home and the psych villas."

An area of concern for many is what a long-term blackout means for care homes in the Prince Albert area.

"We do have three long-term care facilities here in Prince Albert," Gregoryk said.

"So we are putting contingency plans in place for water, maintaining things like lifts for residents to be able to move them around."

For the time being, it's cold meals and paper plates for long-term care residents.

The main concern of the region during this time is the same as it always is - patient and resident safety.

"For us that's the main concern," Gregoryk said.

"And second, the staff safety, because of course they are working in buildings with no air conditioning or anything at this point ... lots of the jobs are normally strenuous jobs, and the temperature is an issue."

With clinics in the Prince Albert area closed for the time being, people with minor ailments may have to wait it out for a couple of days.

"If it's an emergency, come to our emergency room. If it's not, please don't," Gregoryk said.

"We'll be able to manage the emergencies and things, but because the clinics are closed ... if it's not really an urgent situation, then it would be best to just put that off until the clinics reopen and they have some power."

braden.dupuis@paherald.sk.ca

Organizations: Victoria Hospital

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