Spencer Hospital Prepares for Surgery Center Reopening

posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 in General

Patient care and cleaning were the top two priorities at Spencer Hospital on Tuesday following Monday evening’s small equipment fire.

“Caring for our patients is always our number one priority and today we also had team members busy cleaning areas within the hospital which were impacted by smoke damage, sterilizing equipment and replacing linens,” commented Spencer Hospital President Bill Bumgarner.

All hospital services were open on Tuesday with the exception of the surgical center, which was the location of the fire.

 Bumgarner explained   the surgery center will reopen once a deep-cleaning process is completed and approval is received from the state fire marshal’s office and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which oversees healthcare facilities in the state.  He said representatives of both offices have been responsive and understanding of the importance of offering access to surgical services in the region.

Procedures scheduled for Tuesday were cancelled and the surgery center will also be closed for scheduled procedures on Wednesday. Bumgarner said the hospital will be ready to reopen the surgery center once state officials approve, with an anticipated timeframe of later this week.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Monday a hospital staff member in the surgical equipment sterilization area smelled smoke and noticed sparks escaping from one of the washer units. Immediately a fire alarm was pulled and the sparks were extinguished by the sprinkler system. The Spencer Fire Department quickly responded and assisted in clearing the smoke-filled room. Due to the spread of smoke in other areas of the hospital, 16 patients were transferred to neighboring facilities.

“We’re grateful for the assistance of so many people, especially the local fire department, area ambulance services, law enforcement and neighboring hospitals Palo Alto County Health System, Lakes Regional Healthcare and Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.” Bumgarner said.  “Of course, the Spencer Hospital team has responded to meet this challenge as it always does.”