Power outage affects parts of Salem hospital

SALEM – Construction crews working on Salem Community Hospital’s new patient bed tower cut a conduit Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a temporary power outage in parts of the facility.

“No care was compromised,” said Michele Hoffmeister, SCH’s director of public relations.

The power outage occurred at 2:35 p.m. According to Hoffmeister, the break in the conduit occurred between the main hospital building and the hospital’s central plant, where the emergency generator is located, preventing the generator from kicking on.

She said patient care was maintained in all of the hospital’s clinical areas, with power restored shortly after 3 p.m., with the exception of the emergency department, which had power restored at 5:15 p.m.

She explained that patients continued to be treated in the emergency department, but those patients enroute by ambulance had their conditions evaluated by emergency department physicians through radio contact with ambulance personnel for possible transfer to other facilities based on the level of care needed.

“The physicians and staff of Salem Community Hospital were prepared to handle this temporary power outage, as we do all unexpected events. Drills are held periodically for internal and external incidents to assure that we are prepared to continue to provide patient care, no matter what challenge faces our staff,” Hoffmeister said.