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SCKMC Surgery Department Flooded

January 13, 2017

South Central Kansas Medical Center was forced to cancel procedures today as a result of a fire system sprinkler head being accidentally triggered within one of the surgery department’s procedure rooms. An investigation is still underway to determine what exactly caused the incident.

Arkansas City, KS –  South Central Kansas Medical Center was forced to cancel procedures today as a result of a fire system sprinkler head being accidentally triggered within one of the surgery department’s procedure rooms. An investigation is still underway to determine what exactly caused the incident.

“Around 5:00 (p.m.) the fire alarms went off throughout the entire building. We were waiting to hear if it was a test, as the alarms were being tested earlier. We didn’t hear anything so we shut all the doors and I got the radio,” explained Mandy Maples, SCKMC’s Human Resources Manager.

Soon after the alarms sounded it was discovered that the fire sprinkler located in procedure room one of the surgery department had been triggered. Thousands of gallons of water were released before the system could be reset.

“Housekeeping was great. They went to get blankets and towels to put under the doors to try to contain the water the best we could. Once we got the water shut off we got the equipment out, which was soaked. We don’t know the full extent of the damage yet,” Maples said.

Once the water had been shut off, the hospital’s maintenance team began squeegeeing up the extra water in an effort to contain the damage. A-1 Cleaning was called in and arrived within minutes after the incident to begin the restoration process.

Medical center staff were able to preserve one of the surgical suites to be used overnight in the event a patient required an emergency surgery. However, five non-emergent procedures scheduled for Friday were cancelled.

“We didn’t believe we could get the rooms sanitized in time (to perform surgeries) plus get the humidity levels back down. Today we will be going through all the equipment to check to see what the damage is and start re-sterilizing all the rooms,” Maples said.

Hospital officials are waiting for the re-inspection of medical equipment and review from the facility’s insurance adjuster before they will have an estimate for the total cost of damages.

Photo: A sprinkler head floods Procedure Room 1 within South Central Kansas Medical Center’s surgery department.