The presence of a bat flying through a Montreal hospital — yes, an actual real live bat — caused the shutdown of five operating rooms earlier this week, on September 29.

A spokesperson for Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital told MTL Blog that the bat flew into one operating room, causing the CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'île-de-Montréal to immediately close four other closeby operating rooms in the otorhinolaryngology and ophthalmology departments.

The bat was discovered by employees, said Valérie Lafleur of the CIUSSS media relations department.

But she said it did not fly past or touch any patients. 

The employees managed to capture it and release it outside, she said.

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The Rosemont Pavilion is greatly dilapidated. Masonry work . . . could have caused the movement of the bat inside the building

Valérie Lafleur, CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal


With Montreal being classified as a red zone in the province, losing five operating rooms is a blow to the hospital. The hospital doesn't yet know how long the rooms will be out of service. 

Lafleur said the hospital launched a "call for tenders" this week to rent private operating rooms where urgent otorhinolaryngology and ophthalmology surgeries can be performed by its staff.

The hospital's hygiene and sanitation teams are assessing the state of the rooms and equipment before resuming activities, according to Lafleur. 

As for how the bat entered the hospital, Lafleur said the cause is currently unknown:

"The Rosemont Pavilion is greatly dilapidated. Masonry work on the building would also possibly be involved and could have caused the movement of the bat inside the building."

Lafleur said the hospital has called in an expert to identify the causes of the incident and correct them, and that he should be sending his analysis soon.

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