Saturday 17 November, 2018

QEH clears the air as facility decontaminated

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is making every effort "to swiftly rectify the issue at hand and to ensure that the needs of vulnerable patients are met".

That was the message from the Board of Management and staff of the QEH in a press release issued this morning, after a technical challenge with its biosafety cabinet - which the facility used to manufacture chemotherapy treatments.

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It said that:

"This issue was drawn to the attention of the QEH’s management team by the Pharmacy Department on Thursday, November 1, 2018 and a decision was taken to discontinue the use of the biosafety cabinet in question."

While 16 persons have been affected by the closure of this facility, the hospital stated that it has put measures in place to resume services elsewhere: 

"Management immediately enacted arrangements to ensure the continuity of service for the approximately 16 patients affected, through the temporary establishment of an appropriate facility at the Best Dos Santos Public Health Laboratory. This interim facility is currently being decontaminated, and once deemed ready for use, will resume the preparation of chemotherapy drugs. 

"There is no shortage of drugs but a need to relocate preparation of chemotherapy. We expect to resume preparation of chemotherapy treatments by Saturday, November 10, 2018; and patients are expected to continue treatment from Monday, November 12, 2018." 

The QEH added that they made provisions to assist those who need urgent care:  

"A private facility is assisting with patients whose treatment cannot be delayed or disrupted until Monday.

"Management has also taken immediate steps to identify a suitable replacement biosafety cabinet. This replacement cabinet will be procured and commissioned within the next 6 to 8 weeks. The Best Dos Santos Laboratory will service the QEH during this period.

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