08 February 2019
Triumph in the face of disaster
One early February morning, the fire alarm went off at the Unilabs laboratory in Eskilstuna. As part of a big hospital, this is known to happen every now and then, either by mistake or for training purposes. So no-one took much notice at the beginning.
But from the strong smell of smoke it soon became clear that this one was for real. Everybody was evacuated, except for one technician who refused to leave until he had completed preparing blood for an ongoing acute surgery.
With no access to the lab, a plan B was needed.
Within an hour Unilabs employees had started up a POCT lab in the hospital's emergency room and after another hour all blood transports were redirected and a Customer Service Desk was up and running. It was amazing to witness how all the staff improvised creatively towards a common goal, causing as little disruption to patients as possible.
The fire did a lot of damage and it took two months to get the lab up and running at full speed again. Thanks to the team's actions, the interim period was not 'time lost'.