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Heart patients switched as power black out hits hospital monitors

PUBLISHED: 16:42 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

PATIENTS on heart monitoring machines had to be switched to other monitors when a power cut blacked out part of the London Chest Hospital for more than four hours. Half the 12 coronary monitors were affected by the mains failure at the hospital near Victoria Park in London’s East London

PATIENTS on heart monitoring machines had to be switched to other monitors when a power cut blacked out part of the London Chest Hospital for more than four hours.

Half the 12 coronary monitors were affected by the mains failure at the hospital near Victoria Park in London's East London.

But not all the machines which monitor heart-rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels were in use.

Doctors were able to switch patients to monitors in other parts of the complex that still had mains electricity.

No operations were affected, the NHS confirmed, but emergency lighting had to be installed.

"We had to use torches in some cases before we got the emergency lights going," explained a hospital spokesman.

"Our emergency generator only kicks in if there's a total power cut-but only part of the chest hospital was affected. No patients came to any clinical harm."

The emergency was caused by a mains substation break-down which blacked out the neighbourhood on November 23.

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