Oregon hospital cancels some elective surgeries over sewage leak in sterilization department

A sewage leak forced St. Charles Medical Center-Bend (Ore.) to cancel elective surgeries and left patients without water to shower or flush toilets for several hours March 6, according to The Bulletin.

The leak, which was discovered around 9:15 a.m., was found in the central processing department, where surgical instruments are cleaned and sterilized.

Out of an abundance of caution, hospital officials stopped all water usage in the building until they could identify the cause of the leak.

The leak was the result of a blocked sewer pipe. Hospital facility staff cleared the block and temporarily fixed the leak. The water restrictions were then lifted.

Since the leak limited the hospital's ability to sterilize instruments from surgery, the hospital canceled some elective surgeries, but did not divert trauma cases.

Some of the sterilization processing was done in the hospital's operating rooms and other instruments were sent to other local medical centers in Bend, Ore.

The hospital is working to permanently fix the leak.

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