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Consequences of Water Damage in Medical Facilities
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
When water damage occurs in a medical facility, one of the most serious consequences is damage to expensive medical devices and equipment, particularly advanced diagnostic equipment. Adding to the costs of damage is the need for extensive clean up, which may require a lot of resources (time, manpower, money).
In one incident, a burst sprinkler pipe caused about $100,000 damage to a facility's electronic devices and surgical tools. In another incident, storm-related flooding caused sewage backup in a hospital, causing damage to records and requiring major cleanup and disinfection with the total damage costing about $170,000. Severe cases such as those caused by intense storms such as hurricanes can lead to significant structural damage where the building would have to be demolished.
Aside from property damage and thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars worth of insurance claims, an even more serious effect of water damage is its impact on affected patients. If the facility loses all power, for instance, if a flood has affected the electrical switchgear to emergency generators, patient care activities such as ventilatory assistance which is dependent on electrical equipment would have to be provided manually by the staff.
Depending on the severity of the incident, it may be necessary to transfer patients to another facility. Patient evacuation is a very challenging and often costly task, not to mention very risky particularly if transferring the most vulnerable patients like the critically-ill and infants.
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