IF UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick wants to install air conditioning in its old wards it will require significant Government funding, the Limerick Leader has learned.
This comes after the Dooradoyle hospital made national headlines for not having air conditioning in the hot and humid wards during Ireland’s toughest heatwave in living memory.
The situation was so bad that local businesses stepped up to the plate and provided air conditioning to the hospital for sick patients in discomfort.
Eight mobile air conditioning units were supplied to UHL to help reduce temperatures on the wards, and additional units are being sourced a spokesperson told the Leader.
When asked if UHL would be permanently fitting in air conditioning in the old wards, the spokesperson said: “Retrofitting air conditioning units in older wards is very expensive and is dependent on capital funding approval.”
“Hydration rounds have been doubled in frequency to ensure patients are getting enough and bottled water is also being provided. All windows and doors have been opened where safe for patients and staff and where airconditioning is not available,” she said.
She said management is “acutely conscious of the discomfort the hot weather is causing our patients and staff.
“Like many acute hospitals in Ireland, much of the inpatient accommodation in the hospital is located on out-dated nightingale wards without modern air conditioning.”
More recently developed parts of the hospital campus at UHL have modern air conditioning fitted in. These areas include the new €24m emergency department, dialysis unit, oncology unit, critical care block, the €16m Leben Building, which includes the cystic fibrosis, dermatology, breast and stroke units.
During the heatwave, which reached 32 degrees in the Limerick and Clare region, there were a small number of patients with sunburn, majority of which were classed as minor in nature, UHL said.