5 Jul, 2021 @ 16:15
1 min read

HOSPITAL HELL: Air conditioning system breaks down at hospital in Spain’s Valencia during first major summer heatwave

Hospital General Valencia
Valencia's Hospital General (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

PATIENTS, visiting relatives and health workers at Valencia’s Hospital General Universitari were forced to rely on fans in an attempt to keep cool when the air conditioning system broke down over the weekend.

A fault was first reported on the third floor on Thursday, and by midday Saturday the entire building was without a working cooling system.

The fault coincided with the first severe heatwave of the summer, when temperatures of up to 40ºC were reached at several points throughout the region.

Users described the situation as ‘hell’ and ‘inhumane’, as patients returned from surgery for the post-op and required their visitors to fan them with handheld abanicos and floor fans that they had brought from home.

Although a team of technicians visited the hospital on Saturday, they were unable to complete the repairs due to a missing vital component that was not due to arrive until today (Monday).

Windows cannot be opened due to security reasons, and with the sun hitting the building all day, at night the rooms reportedly became unbearable.

Hospital General Valencia
Valencia’s Hospital General Universitari (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

But the heat is only one of their worries. Building work is currently taking place on the Avenida del Cid side of the hospital, with hydraulic hammers blasting away and adding to patients’ discomfort.

Several affected patients and relatives have announced plans to file formal complaints against the management.

In another hospital-related development this week, official figures show that admissions due to COVID are diminishing – but so is the average age of patients with complications.

Rising infection rates in the Valencia region are not being mirrored by a spike in hospital pressure or Intensive Care occupation, with the vast majority of new admissions belonging to the 35 to 50 age range.

Healthcare authorities are currently trying to decide whether or not to bring back restrictions to stem the increase in infections, or to trust personal responsibility and the advancing vaccination campaign.


COVID-19 cases continue big rises as hospital admissions also go up in Costa Blanca and Valencia areas of Spain

Glenn Wickman

Glenn is a trained and experienced journalist, having obtained a BA Hons degree in Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish from Middlesex University (London) in 2001.
Since then he has worked on several English-language newspapers in Alicante Province, including 11 years at the Costa Blanca News.
He is trilingual in English, Spanish and Catalán/Valenciano, a qualified ELT teacher and translator with a passion for the written word.
After several years in Barcelona, Glenn has now returned to the Costa Blanca (Alicante), from where he will cover local stories as well as Valencia and Castellón/Costa Azahar.
Please drop him a line if you have any news that you think should be covered in either of these areas, he will gladly get in touch!

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