At Home this week
Doctors at Ngwelezane Hospital in Empangeni have had to conduct surgical procedures by torchlight because of an insufficient emergency power supply for their theatres.
It emerged this week that the problem became apparent during power outages when the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for the theatre lights did not kick in.
Yesterday, the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department said they were in the process of replacing the current UPS there to prevent similar problems in future.
A doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said this week that there was a power failure lasting longer than 20 minutes.
"This was while patients were anaesthetised in three theatres. Fortunately, the anaesthetic machines and monitors have their own battery back-up, but the theatre lights do not. As a result, surgeons have had to use laryngoscopes and torches to operate," he said.