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Sterilization issues causing delays at the VG hospital

By Joe Thomson Aug 16, 2023 | 11:08 AM

Olga Guryanova / Unsplash

It takes a long time to schedule a surgery in Halifax, and now it will take even longer due to sterilization issues at the Victoria General hospital.

A representative from the Nova Scotia health authority shared with us that an issue with reprocessing machines used to clean scopes prior to endoscopy procedures is causing delays for people waiting to have surgery. They say the issues was first detected on July 20th and all endoscopy and ENT procedures were paused immediately.

An endoscopy is when doctors use a long tube with a camera attached to the end to inspect the inside of a person’s body. As you can imagine, sterilizing the equipment before and after each procedure is crucially important.

Nova Scotia Health says they’re working diligently to remedy the situation as quickly as possible, but there is no timetable for when surgeries may resume. They have been contacting patients scheduled for endoscopy and ENT procedures at the VG to offer them appointments with the same doctors at other sites within the Central Zone, or to reschedule their appointments at the QEII in the future. As of Tuesday afternoon, they are still only doing urgent and emergent procedures at the QEII with alternate equipment. Luckily, no patients had procedures with affected scopes.

So far this year there has been 5,229 endoscopy cases at facilities in the Central Zone, roughly 300 more than the same period last year.


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