Heat wave

Aug 22nd, 2003, 06:23 AM
Posts: n/a
Can somebody with some (real) knowledege explain to me if there is a valid medical rationale to the desicion NOT to provide A/C to hospitals? Apparently, germs spread faster in an A/C environment, and thus the reason why most French hospitals are not so equipped.
Aug 22nd, 2003, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 574

As you certainly know, the climate of Continental Europe doesn't justify the extensive use of AC. This year's heat wave is exceptionnal and wasn't predictable.

The main reason for the absence of AC in hospitals in France (and Switzerland) is that they have been built long before the invention of AC. The costs and technical problems of a transformation would be enormous in most cases and, as you mentionned, the health risks of simply adding AC in old buildings is very high.

We are trying to deal with this problem in Geneva, where patients rooms aren't AC. Our main problem is that we have to deal with (relatively) old buildings and in most cases already contaminated plumbing, and the cost/risk analysis isn't very favorable. The best solution is of course to tear down old buildings and build anew, something that has been done for the surgery and radiology departments, but cannot be done, for lack of space and budgets, with the rest of the hospital.

New buildings are more and more equiped, but as you mentionned, there is an added risk of spreading germs.
Florence is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 75

So much for socialized health care when 10,000 people died from the heat. Thank you, but I'll pay the high premiums.
JoeyJoJoJr_Shabadoo is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:06 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 369

I'm not so sure.

Is that any worse than the 90,000 deaths last year from "medical mistakes" in the U.S. hospitals?
metlc is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 677
As the population of France ages, the climate does indeed warrant the use of air conditioning.

An NPR report on the European heat wave concluded that both the families and government officials are to blame because both insisted on taking an entire month of vacation and assumed that the elderly victims were someone else's responsibility. They quoted family members blaming the government as well as goverment officials blaming the families.

The report hinted that this tragedy may force the French to reevaluate their assumptions about vacation as an entitlement, especially among government workers. The suggestion was that the tradition of effectively shutting an entire country down for an entire month was bound to lead to disaster sooner or later. Rant away, I'm just repeating the gist of the NPR report.
smueller is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9

Thanks for posting additional information about this topic from the point of view of the French people. It goes to show that no one can ever trust what we read as the whole story. You have my condolences for the tragedy that has befallen your country.

In the US, we may be more accustomed to dealing with heat waves, but I notice that the news and weather people always warn people to check on neighbors and the elderly to make sure they are ok. Despite this, we do have a number of fatalities in extreme weather. Hopefully, if France ever has to go through anything like this again, new procedures will be adopted to check on people. All that can be done is to learn from mistakes and I am confident that the French will do so.

DianaM is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 700
Finally, some good judgements...
Majority of analysts(???) in France but I'm not sure they are objective...and
a majority of the population have the easy mind to give endorsment of all problems to government, in all time(liberal now, socialist before...).
The same had raisonments that the killed on the road were in party fault of constructors who made too fast cars...It's not the car who kills, it's the driver...
Like in US with the guns...It's not the gun who kills but the one who shots...
So, heat wave was not predictible and perhaps there will be not another before a lot of years...But we can have a very very cold winter and the consequence will be the same if we don't analyse where there have been a lack of efficiency and we are all in
trouble : not only the government, not only the families : all of us...
Government is not here to say to the families what to do...
And what for the old people without family...
So we have to learn about those deaths and prepare us to such extreme conditions...
To end, I'm sure that if a such catastroph like 9.11 arrives in France they will be a lot of deaths in towers, because it will be one for one, without discipline...I ' m sure the people would not go down in the stairways,one
after one but they will run over each other...and this would be, after, fault of government...
French will not change and it's a pity...
monpetit is offline  

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