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Review for SA hospital power back-ups


The systems keeping South Australia’s hospitals running when power is lost will be reviewed after failures during the state’s blackout.

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SA Health acting chief executive Vickie Kaminski says the backup generator at Flinders Medical Centre failed in the blackout because of a fuel pump issue.

The Port Augusta hospital’s generator also stopped working and had to be replaced with two smaller generators.

Power for essential services stayed on at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, but did not include the CT machine – which could have forced trauma patients to travel to a suburban hospital.

Kaminski says an engineer will review the backup power for all SA hospitals after investigating the two generator failures during the blackout in detail.

“We’re looking to do a full review of our backup generation and look at what is considered a contemporary hospital system, and are we contemporary,” she told 891 ABC radio on Tuesday.

Seventeen patients from the Flinders Medical Centre had to be transferred to the Flinders Private Hospital during the night of the blackout and some needed help breathing with manual respirators.

No-one died but the embryos of 12 families were lost at the hospital’s fertility clinic as incubators were compromised, the “biggest tragedy” of the situation, Kaminski said.

Power was cut across SA on September 28 when ferocious winds tore down 23 transmission towers in the state’s mid-north.


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