April 23, 2014

Humidifier problem shuts down Omaha VA Medical Center

The surgical operating rooms are temporarily closed at the Veterans Administration Medical Center that serves western Iowa veterans. Will Ackerman, spokesman for the hospital in Omaha, says faulty humidifiers have forced the shut-down of the surgical suites.

“Even though there were some rumors about potential mold contamination, that was never an issue,” Ackerman says. “We identified that there was no presence what-so-ever of that.” No veterans were placed in harm’s way, he says.

“At no time was there any risk to any patients during any of the procedures,” Ackerman says. The humidifiers that failed were some 50 years old, but Ackerman says there was no issue with mold.

“We identified and did lots of testing for spores to make sure there was no potential risk to our veterans,” he says. “We’ve identified that there was not (a risk).” The surgical suites are closed until further notice.

Ackerman says the V-A may have to consider leasing space at other medical centers in the area through a share agreement, until the problem is resolved.

By Karla James