29th March 2012
Temporary closure of orthopaedic theatres at Noble’s Hospital
The Department of Health has temporarily closed the two orthopaedic theatres at Noble’s Hospital following a fluid leak in an air filter.
The leak is in a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter – an air filter which catches particles in the air and thus reduces the likelihood of bacteria and viruses from passing through it. The filter is an important element in the battery of infection control measures in place in theatres and the immediate action has been to close the two theatres which it serves. There is no indication of any increased risk of infection to patients as the theatres were closed immediately following the detection of the leak. The filter unit has been replaced but the need to conduct proper testing to ensure that the theatres are perfectly clean after the disturbance caused by replacement of the filter means that the theatres will not reopen until Monday, 2nd April.
The temporary closure of the theatres has resulted in the postponement of some orthopaedic operations where patients require a laminar air flow (air which has been filtered and is distributed into the operating theatre turbulence free) theatre facility to reduce the potential for infection into joints, as is normal for orthopaedic surgery. All of the postponed procedures will be rescheduled to take place in the next two weeks and affected patients have been informed. The Department apologises for the inconvenience this has caused but it is essential to ensure that patient safety is not put at risk.