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Brief power outage affects digital equipment at St. Claire's Hospital


WESTON, Wis. (WSAU) - A brief power outage created a challenge for the staff and patients at the Weston Regional Medical Center Thursday.

It happened at about 4:30 in the morning.

Public and Community Relations Manager Tom Weaver says the outage lasted only seconds and emergency back-up measures went immediately into effect. “We do have a generator backup and other mechanisms as well, but it was an equipment failure with that backup process, is what caused the very brief outage.”

The power failure affected a telecommunications server, which made it difficult for people to place some calls to the hospital. Callers often used the main St.Claire’s Hospital switchboard to connect with patients. “From a patient care standpoint, things went (well) but most of the day, we were experiencing intermittent outages for anyone calling to direct dial to a patient’s room.” Weaver says several people had to call in through the hospital’s main switchboard during the morning and early afternoon until the equipment was replaced.

As part of the facilities emergency operations plan, all elective surgeries at Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital were placed on hold and the Emergency Department was placed on diversion status during the early morning hours.

Everything was back to normal by 8:30 a.m., except for the damaged telecommunications server. That was fully functional by mid afternoon.