Serious cases are handled at emergency theatre

The operation theatre complex at SAT Hospital here , which is undergoing major annual maintenance work, is expected to be made functional by February first week, according to the hospital authorities.

The SAT Hospital authorities had earlier announced that elective surgeries would not be performed in the hospital till further announcement as the operation theatre was being shut down for annual maintenance. This had, however, created some confusion among the public.

“It is an annual feature in both the Government Medical College Hospital as well as the SAT that we close our theatres by December 15 for major maintenance work and re-open them after the completion of the works, and clearance from the microbiology department by the end of January. This is absolutely necessary because in both the institutions, the operation theatres work 24x7 and is often stretched beyond their limits, necessitating a major overhaul by the end of the year,” SAT Hospital Superintendent K.E. Elizabeth explained.

10,000 surgeries a year

Between the department of Paediatric Surgery and Gynaecology, over 10,000 surgeries are performed inside the operation theatre complex at SAT every year, which stretches almost across an entire floor of the hospital. The Gynaecology department alone performs some 5,000 surgeries here in a year. Because of the tight schedule, it is not possible for the hospital to have workmen going in and out for maintenance works on a regular basis.

“We announced early itself that dates would not be given for elective surgeries from December 15 onwards. All cases requiring an emergency surgical intervention are being handled in the emergency theatre. Every year, October-November is our peak season when we try to finish off as many surgery cases as possible as the theatre would be closed for the next few weeks,” Dr. Elizabeth pointed out.

The theatre is going in for major repair work, including civil, electrical and plumbing works. The flooring is being re-done and all the air conditioners are being overhauled. The entire theatre, including the ceiling, will be scrubbed and washed out and fungus-proof painting done. After the entire works are completed, the theatre will have to be fumigated. It can be re-opened only after the microbiology surveillance is completed and a sterile bacteria culture report is issued.