A number of operating rooms from a local hospital were recently closed down by the New York State Department of health.

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During a recent inspection by the New York State Department of Health, Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie was as cited for unsafe humidity levels in some operating rooms, resulting in those rooms being closed down by the Department of Health, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Health told Hudson Valley Post.

"Vassar Brothers Medical Center is retrofitting some of its operating rooms and procedure rooms due to low humidity. We are grateful for the New York State Department of Health’s oversight of our facility. When they point out potential issues such as this, it gives us the opportunity to take immediate action to ensure we continue to provide excellent, high-quality care," Vassar Brothers Medical Center Director, Public and Community Affairs, John R. Nelson said to Hudson Valley Post.

Operating rooms with unsafe humidity levels can increase the risk of infections, according to the American Journal of Infection Control Home.

Unsafe humidity levels can also decrease the shelf life of certain medical supplies, such as indicators used for sterilization monitoring and electrocardiogram electrodes. It can also increase the chance of a fire, according to Bradley S. Pollitt, Vice President, Facilities UF Health Shands Hospital, Gainesville.

"Ensuring hospitals provide high-quality care is a top priority of the New York State Department of Health. The impacted operating rooms were reopened after the hospital took action to ensure the humidity in the operating rooms is maintained at appropriate levels when in use. The Department will continue to closely monitor the situation," New York State Department of Health Public Information Officer Jeffrey Hammond said to Hudson Valley Post in an email.