VA Hospital Air-Handling Unit Repaired After Failure

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System say their University Drive should be operating normally by Monday morning after an air-handling unit failure caused some problems over the weekend.

Kathleen Pomorski, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s chief of Public Affairs, says the unit failed Friday, making cool air flow unavailable to three patient care units.

“The main concern was rising temperatures and if air is not flowing and is not cool that is a concern. We were able to move the patients so they did not experience temperatures that did not exceed standards,” she said.

Thirty-eight inpatients were transferred to other available beds within the medical center. Two were sent to other local hospitals. Pomorski says by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, the hospital had attempted to notify each of the inpatients’ family members to inform them of the moves.

Late Saturday afternoon, Pomorski said the air-handling unit had been repaired and normal air flow was restored to the three patient care units. The affected patient rooms and areas were cleaned and sanitized to “ensure proper conditions for patient reoccupation.”

Three of the 38 inpatients who were transferred were discharged Saturday, and the remaining patients are being transferred back to their original units. All affected inpatients should be transferred back to their units or discharged Sunday.

Some medical and surgical admissions at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s University Drive location will continue to be sent elsewhere into Monday morning. The Emergency Department remains open.

Normal operations should resume by Monday morning.

Family members or anyone who has questions should call the information hotline at 412-360-1199.

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