Steve Biko hospital ICU, operating theatres hit by power outages

One week after Steve Biko Academic Hospital went black twice in one day, the causes of the outages remain unknown.

After mid-morning and late-evening power outages on Tuesday last week, Pretoria Rekord claims that lights went out while procedures were being done.

During the outages, healthcare professionals were forced to utilize smartphone flashlights to attend to patients.

The first lasted many hours, while the nighttime blackout lasted around one hour.

The power outages were confirmed to Pretoria Rekord by Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana, who said the intensive care unit and operating theatres were also affected.

Some parts of the hospital had power when the blackouts occurred, but other sections had to wait some time before being lit up.

Kekana said however that the outages did not cause any harm to human life, and that all planned surgeries were postponed.

For example, one patient who was on oxygen did not have their supply disturbed during the outage.

But others said they were served cold food due to the blackouts, something Kekana said hospital management was not aware of.

She said despite the outages, the hospital continued to provide “quality care”.

Edited by Nica Richards.

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