Leaking Pipe at Brigham And Women’s Hospital Leads To Cancellations, Evacuations

The cold weather is probably the culprit, of course.

brigham womens hospital

Photo by Alex Lau

The early morning cold is likely what caused a pipe to burst at Brigham and Women’s hospital on Francis Street—the latest in a series of more than 75 similar incidents reported over the weekend—forcing hospital staff to move around patients and cancel appointments.

The hospital issued an update Tuesday morning after a sixth-floor pipe sent water crashing down into the inpatient area, causing flooding that impacted the floors below.

The temperatures dipped down to the single digits in the early morning, with a wind chill that made it feel even colder, which may have caused the pipe to crack and spill water into the hospital facility. The leak started at 6 a.m., according to hospital staff.

The flood quickly led to cancellations of elective surgical procedures, appointments at the cath lab, and electrophysiology lab procedures. Elective surgical procedures are usually considered to be “non-emergency procedures” that are pre-scheduled, but can still be considered serious in nature.

According to an update from the hospital, the Emergency Department remains open, but ambulance traffic and new patients were being diverted to nearby hospitals. At the same time, patients on the lower levels that were impacted by the flooding were being relocated to other areas of the hospital.

“Approximately 30 patients have been relocated, and their family members have been notified of their new location,” a statement from Brigham and Women’s said.

The burst pipe is just the latest flooding catastrophe in Boston. Over the weekend, Boston Fire Department officials handled around 75 calls for leaking and cracked pipes, some of which sent water rushing into basements in both business and apartment buildings, filling them with close to 10 feet of water.

A Fire Department spokesman said on Sunday that the extreme temperatures have been the underlying issue in each case.