The Queen Elizabeth Hospital revealed that it will only be performing emergency surgeries at this time to address a number of concerns.
In a statement management said the hospital is aiming to rectify the issues by early next week.
Here is the full text of the statement.
The Board of Management of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the interest of patient safety has taken the decision to postpone all elective procedures. As such, the hospital is performing only urgent and emergency cases. This decision is a temporary measure until concerns around the availability of critical drugs to manage patients after surgery and challenges with the sterilization of instruments are addressed. This course of action is mainly for the conservation and preservation of the limited resources and to assure the continued promotion of safe surgical practices.
Hospital Administration has advised that due to worldwide demands for drugs such as Fragmin, Clexane and Marcaine, many manufacturers are unable to satisfy the requirements of local distributors. Fragmin and Clexane drugs are utilized pre and post operatively to prevent the formation of blood clots while Marcaine is an anaesthetic. Similarly, management has noted that Premarin, a drug used in the treatment of prostate cancers has also been out of stock. Dr. Dexter James, Chief Executive Officer of the QEH confirmed that the Administration is working assiduously with the Barbados Drug Service and pharmaceutical suppliers both locally and internationally to obtain these drugs and anticipates a resolution to this shortage by early next week.
In a separate matter, the QEH has launched an internal investigation into a recent issue surrounding the sterilization of surgical instruments. While preliminary findings indicate that all autoclaves in use are in good working condition, concerns were raised around the sterility of surgical sets and their fitness for use in surgical procedures. This concern is of critical importance to mitigate infections during surgery.
The Board of Management of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital regrets the disruption to its operating theatres and consequent inconvenience to patients but assures the public that every effort is being made to restore surgical operations to normalcy by early next week.