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Consequences of Water Damage in Hospitals
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
In the aftermath of a water emergency, the incident will have a direct impact on the hospital's property and operations. In terms of property damage, the hospital could be facing damage to structures and building contents, failure of machines and equipment, and destruction or loss of records.
Cleanup and restoration could be laborious and costly. It usually requires professional assistance to meet a hospital's strict safety and sanitation standards. Adding to restoration labor costs is the cost of replacing permanently-damaged materials. Saturated porous materials such as carpeting would have to be removed and replaced.
Aside from property damage, the more serious consequence of a water episode in a hospital is its impact on patient care and other hospital services. For example, if water leaks into an x-ray room, scheduled x-ray services would have to be cancelled. Likewise, if water invades an operating room, the hospital would be forced to postpone or reschedule surgeries.
In the event of power failure due to water damage, healthcare providers will not be able to access critical test results and patient records. These scenarios would naturally lead to all sorts of problems for the hospital, including a serious service backlog, severe staff shortages, and risks to patients' health. Also, the increased workload creates more stress for hospital personnel which can affect the quality of patient care.
When the hospital is no longer able to provide routine or specialist services due to extensive water damage or whenever the situation becomes risky for occupants, then evacuation is necessary. Whether relocating patients within the hospital or outside to another site, the process of evacuation is complex and usually involves communication and logistical challenges.