Grady Memorial to continue redirecting patients during pipe repair

Channel 2's Audrey Washington spoke with Grady patients.

Grady Memorial Hospital will continue to redirect patients to other area hospitals until the middle of the week after a water pipe broke on the sixth floor, hospital officials confirmed Sunday.

For now, emergency patients are being directed to other hospitals and non-emergency elective procedures have been canceled.

Patient visitation is also being restricted.

A plumbing breakdown Saturday caused flooding in some patient care areas in the downtown hospital, which is a regional leader in trauma care and manages one of the busiest emergency care operations in metro Atlanta. Water from the break in the pipe also caused a power outage to some parts of the building, said Grady spokeswoman Denise Simpson.

The potential lingering impact of the power outage on patient services was not clear late Sunday. Simpson previously said several patient care rooms were “unusable,” forcing the hospital to move patients to other facilities.

Nearly 150 of Grady’s 700 patients have been transferred to other hospitals due to the damage, Simpson said.

“As of Sunday afternoon, transfers continue to metro area facilities who have stepped up to continue to provide outstanding care to our patients,” Simpson said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tried unsuccessfully to reach area hospitals for more details on where patients are being redirected for medical treatment and how taking on additional patients, especially those seeking emergency treatment, might affect care and capacity at the receiving hospitals.

After assessing the damage, Grady estimates that repairs will be completed by Wednesday.

“Until that time,” Simpson said, “Grady remains on ‘total diversion’ and all elective procedures have been canceled.”

The “total diversion” designation means paramedics are being asked to take patients with emergencies to other hospitals, she said. Guest visitation is also restricted while crews work to repair the damaged pipe.

“We will frequently reassess our ability to resume normal operations,” Simpson said.