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Is your hospital laboratory located in the basement?

Posted Dec 30 2010 12:00am

Earlier this year, I discussed some risks associated with having your emergency generator located in a basement or other low area.  Today, I share the story of Memorial Herman Hospital's basement laboratory during a flood.

This latest story hits home because one rainy night in Pasadena, my hospital basement was flooded and it impacted our laboratory, pharmacy and some other departments.  I met our maintenance staff there that night to assess the problem and find out why our pumps weren't working.  I'll never forget standing on the ramp and looking down the hall at the water lapping up against the walls and doors as the rain continued to pour down outside.  Thank goodness for the local fire department and their really big pumps!

We didn't have any blood to lose that night and if I remember correctly, our losses were minimal because our wonderful Department Heads recognized this vlunerablity and  kept expensive and vital equipment, supplies and documents up high.  So, if you are located in a basement, assess your storage and placement of priority equipment, supplies and documents and include them in your departmental  hazard vlunerability analysis.   Because, you never know when your first layer of defense (the pumps) will fail.

 

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