June 24, 2013

Leak temporarily closes some Maine Med operating rooms

By Joe Lawlor / Staff Writer

PORTLAND — A leaking water pipe on Saturday resulted in the temporary closure of seven of Maine Medical Center’s 24 operating rooms at its Bramhall Street location.

The pipe caused water damage and dripping from the ceiling, a hospital official said. The hospital, employing a special team designed to respond to unexpected problems, made logistical changes so patients would still receive surgery in a timely manner, according to a hospital news release.

“Our team has been burning up the phone lines, moving procedures to alternate locations, such as our surgery center in Scarborough,” said Dr. Brad Cushing, Maine Medical Center’s chief of surgery, in a prepared statement. “Other staff are calling to update every patient whose procedure is being moved.” The logistical challenge involved coordinating surgery times with surgeons and anesthesiologists and moving equipment.

While the pipe has been removed, the surgery rooms are likely to be out of use for a few weeks while repairs are being completed, said hospital spokesman John Lamb. Surgeries will continue despite the repairs, Lamb said.

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