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Metro veteran upset after spending hours in cold surgery prep-room, procedure then canceled

OKLAHOMA CITY - A metro veteran is upset after he says he spent hours in a cold surgery-prep room just to be sent home hours later.

"It feels like I don`t want to ever come up here," said Cahill. "You go fight for your country and be treated like this."

Thomas Cahill says he checked into the VA hospital before dawn to have eye surgery. Piled under blankets, he said he wanted answers.

"There`s no communication up there. I sent my son over to ask what was going on and they said they didn`t know," said Cahill.

After spending four ours in the prep room, he says he was told there was an issue with the hospital’s heating system and his procedure was canceled.

"What happened was we had a coil that broke in one of our air handling units and our engineering department had to work to replace that," said Stacy Rine, public information officer for OKC VA Medical Center.

The hospital says the issue resolved until around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Rine says about four operating rooms were affected and nine cases had to be rescheduled.

"The operating temperatures had to be ideal, the operating humidity has to be a certain level, and then third, they have to have 20 air changes per hour," said Rine. "So, we had to ensure those three things were met before we could open our operating rooms back open."

As for a why patients weren’t alerted the night before, the hospital says it expected the issue to be fixed sooner than it was.