Malfunction at Lancaster hospital cost $13.5M in damages

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) – Officials at a Pennsylvania hospital say a July air conditioning malfunction that pumped humid air into operating rooms cost the hospital an estimated $13.5 million in damages.

LNP newspaper reports that figure doesn’t include the price to repair the failed air conditioning system at Lancaster General Hospital or costs associated with cleanup efforts, diverting patients or delaying surgeries.

Spokesman John Lines says it hasn’t been determined whether the hospital’s insurer will cover the loss.

Employees tell the newspaper that affected areas felt like a sauna.

Lancaster General was forced to delay surgeries for at least five days and divert emergency and trauma patients to other hospitals for more than 12 hours following the incident.

The malfunction was ultimately caused by an aging network switch that operated without a backup.

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