UVM Medical Center Postpones Surgeries After Water Main Burst | Health care | Seven days

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  • Courtesy of UVM Medical Center
  • UVM Medical Center staff clean equipment after flooding

The University of Vermont Medical Center is postponing dozens of elective surgeries after a water main burst and flooded most of its operating rooms over the weekend.

Flooding in the Burlington building began Saturday night and forced the closure of all but two of the hospital’s 22 operating rooms, according to a press release from UVM Medical Center. Eight operating rooms have since reopened, but the hospital estimates it will take around a week to reopen the remaining dozen.

Meanwhile, the hospital says it has delayed 49 elective surgeries and will reschedule more this week on a case-by-case basis.

“For the next week, major vascular cases will be diverted to other hospitals when possible,” a hospital press release read. He noted that a few patients have been transferred to the hospital’s Fanny Allen campus in Colchester, while others may be referred to the UVM Health Network’s two other Vermont hospitals: Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin and the Porter Medical Center in Middlebury.

“We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this will cause as we follow established procedures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff,” the press release read.

Video shared by the hospital shows hallways filled with equipment as staff work to clean affected rooms. VTDigger.org first reported the incident.

Projecting millions in losses, largest Vermont hospitals seek rate increases

Projecting millions in losses, largest Vermont hospitals seek rate increases

By Colin Flandre

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The closures come at a precarious time for Vermont’s largest hospital. He was already unable to keep pace with demand for his surgical services before the pandemic and has been forced to postpone hundreds of procedures over the past two years.

The hospital now faces a budget shortfall of nearly $40 million which it attributes to inflation and rising labor costs. A request to charge commercial insurance companies more over the next six months is currently pending with state regulators.

Claiming the increase during a hearing last week, UVM Health Network’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Al Gobeille, said the hospital’s shrinking margins were compromising its ability to put update its facilities.

“We just don’t have the most modern equipment, the most modern oscilloscope or monitor or other device because we don’t have the capital,” he said. “I’m just worried that we won’t shine.”

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