Press Releases

Friday, March 10, 2016

Sewer back-up damages Buhler Centre

PET CT scanner appointments on hold through next week

WINNIPEG – On Tuesday, March 8, a sewer back-up led to a power outage effecting floors five (5) through eight (8) of the Buhler Centre, operated by the University of Manitoba and located on the Health Sciences Centre’s Winnipeg campus.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) operates a number of services out of the facility, including the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT scanner. WRHA and HSC Winnipeg staff are working actively with the University to address the power outage.

Components for the building’s electrical system are custom fabricated and an emergency order has been placed to obtain the part. Installation and full power are expected to be restored by the end of next week, according to the University of Manitoba.

“We fully understand the seriousness of the temporary loss of our PET CT scanner. Many of our patients are oncology patients, including a small number of children. This is why we are looking at a variety of alternative options to provide this valuable diagnostic service during the outage and supporting the University of Manitoba to resolve the power outage as soon as possible, “ said Dana Erickson, Chief Operating Officer, Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and regional executive responsible for Diagnostic Imaging. “Once power has been restored we will prioritize patients according to their urgency for care and increase our capacity as rapidly as possible.”

Of concern is the operation of the PET CT scanner, which sees approximately 8-10 patients per day. Approximately 25 scans have been cancelled since the incident, and a further 10 scans scheduled for tomorrow have also been put on hold, something that is likely to occur for much of next week as well.

A PET CT scanner uses radiation, or nuclear medicine imaging, to produce 3-dimensional, color images of functional processes within the human body. It can be used to detect and help monitor the development of conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

The PET is one diagnostic imaging tool among several – including x-rays, CT scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—available to physicians. With other options available in cases where a scan is imperative, the PET CT scanner’s down-time is unlikely to compromise patient health.

Non-urgent scans will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

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The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
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