Patients at the Health Sciences Centre will have to wait for tests after a sewer back up knocked out power to some equipment.

On Tuesday, a sewer back-up caused a power outage affecting the fifth floor through to the eighth floor of the Buhler Centre, where the WRHA operates a Positron Emission Tomography CT scanner.

The WRHA says no patients were on those floors at the time. Staff should be back in to work right away, said a WRHA spokesperson.

An emergency order has been placed to get replacement parts, which are custom-made. The goal is to have the part in and the machine repaired by next Friday, said the spokesperson.

“We fully understand the seriousness of the temporary loss of our PET CT scanner. Many of our patients are oncology patients, including a small number of children,” Dana Erickson, Chief Operating Officer for Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, said in a news release.

The hospital is looking at alternative options to provide diagnostic services during the outage, said Erickson.

“Once power has been restored, we will prioritize patients according to their urgency for care and increase our capacity as rapidly as possible.”

The PET CT scanner sees eight to 10 patients per day. It produces 3-D colour images of processes within the body.

Approximately 25 scans have been postponed and a further eight to 10 will be postponed each day that the machine is broken.

When the machine is back up and running, patients will be prioritized based on condition, not original appointment time. Cancer and heart patients will get priority.

There are different scanning machines available for other patients if needed.