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Crucial copper pipes which feed to theatre rooms at Bara Hospital stolen two days after theft of pipes feeding ICU unit on Monday

Chris Hani/Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto. l FILE/DUMISANI SIBEKO/ANA

Chris Hani/Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto. l FILE/DUMISANI SIBEKO/ANA

Published Dec 21, 2022


Pretoria – The Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto was again targeted on Wednesday when thieves made off with copper pipes attached to the theatre rooms.

The incident comes two days after criminals cut and stole a 10-metre copper pipe which supplies oxygen to various sections of the main Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Spokesperson for Health MEC, Tshepo Shawa, said given the nature of the incidents there seemed to be a deliberate attempt to destabilise the facility and endanger the lives of thousands of people who depend on the public health service.

“Copper pipes from a plant room supplying two general surgery theatres with high pressured water were cut and stolen, leaving the theatre’s cooling system compromised.

“Around 10:00 today (Wednesday), nurses in theatre 15 and 16 noticed water suddenly seeping from the autoclave system (equipment steralisation machine in theatres) into the theatres. When the matter was investigated it was discovered that the copper pipes from the plant room were tampered with.”

Shawa said the latest incident has also been reported to the SAPS in Diepkloof, Soweto.

Following Monday’s incident, Shawa added that 24 patients had been successfully moved back to ICU after they had to be evacuated after a copper pipe that disrupted oxygen supply was stolen.

The patients had to be moved from the intensive care unit after oxygen levels dropped dramatically on Monday morning as a result of the theft.