Karlovy Vary hospital staff battles two-hour blackout
A hospital in West Bohemia experienced a dramatic night this week when its generators gave way during a local blackout. Medical staff manually operated life-saving equipment for two long hours and managed to save all 300 patients. The local governor has now ordered a detailed report on why the hospital's emergency power supply failed.
"As you might imagine, such a situation is critical as we have numerous important medical equipment that needs electricity to work," says Roman Brazdil, head physician of the anaesthesiology-resuscitation unit. Had a patient been on the operating table, he would not have survived, he adds.
Of the 300 patients that were in the hospital at the time, four of them were in a critical condition. Doctors and nurses had to quickly go into action to operate resuscitation equipment and blood circulating machines manually.
According to Dr. Tereza Igazova, who was on duty in the Intensive Care Unit, there was little that doctors and nurses could do. Nurses went from one patient to the other monitoring their conditions and did all they could. The hospital is now assessing how much damage was caused by the blackout. Medicine, graft bone, and other important tissue stored in cooling machines can no longer be used.
Hospital management says all its generators are now working but it has yet to determine why its emergency power supply failed.