Disability Health Japan

Concerns for patients as 5 in Gifu hospital die of heatstroke with air conditioning off

“In a hospital in Gifu City, five patients who were hospitalized in a room where the air conditioner failed are found dead one after another in two days.”

From The West Japan Shimbun

September 2nd 2018

In a hospital in Gifu City, five patients who were hospitalized in a room where the air conditioner failed are found dead one after another in two days. SOS arrived from the special coverage team from a woman whose relative is in a disabled support facility near Fukuoka city. “The air conditioning of the facility will be off from 9:30 pm to morning, I am anxious about heat stroke because I am half paralyzed and my sense is slow and my body is lame.” What is the measure against the heat of these facilities?

According to the woman, the relative has collapsed with cerebral infarction and has entered it for rehabilitation. In August, there was never been air conditioning in the evening, it was set to “blow” at night. “Hot wind is blowing, even if we open the window it is not ventilated and it will not be cool, people in the same room say” it is hot “, even in cold weather, even if it is cold we have to wear a blanket as heating is turned off I heard that ”

I think that I asked the facility side to put in air conditioning, but the woman’s relative said “I am grateful for the facilities I was finally put in. I do not want to say things like complaints.”

Because there is no observation point of the meteorological observatory in the municipality where the facility is located, I checked the temperature in August of the neighboring Fukuoka city. The average monthly temperature at 11 pm is 29 degrees. It was only one day that was not a tropical night with a minimum night temperature of 25 degrees or higher.

The facility was consulted. The person in charge said that “The air conditioning is certainly not working from 9:30 PM to 7:30 AM” and “The window can be opened any time if it is hot with a screen and can also bring in a fan.” When asked why air conditioning is cut off at night, “I have been using it since before, there have been no complaints in this summer, and no one has lost physical condition due to the heat.”

When asking the support facilities for persons with disabilities in Kyushu, “temperature difference” appears in correspondence.

The “Prefectural Disabled Persons Capacity Development Center” (Kumamoto-shi) of the Kumamoto Prefectural Social Welfare Organization said, “We are turning on the air conditioner every day from 6:30 am to 2:00 am and will operate until 4 am if it is hot after that “.

“Yusunosato” of Kagoshima Prefecture Social Welfare Corporation (Hioki-shi, the prefecture) says “Air conditioners are always on, and staff adjust according to humidity and temperature”.

The facilities in Sasebo in Nagasaki prefecture have air conditioned only in the corridor regardless of day and night, and the room is attached according to the wishes of residents, and the staff adjust according to the humidity and temperature of the room. The person in charge said “Because there are narrows in one or two people rooms, there are also people who catch colds because they are too cold,” he told the difficulty of room temperature adjustment.

Meanwhile, the economic situation also flickers. A staff member at a disabled facility said, “I was told that management was struggling and I cut off the air conditioner as much as possible at night to save electricity bills.”

Is there no national standard on air conditioning management?

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the notification based on the Disabled Personnel Autonomy Support Law stipulates that “efforts shall be made to ensure proper temperature inside the facility by air conditioning equipment and the like”. The Department of Disabled Welfare Division pointed out that “to support an appropriate living environment such as air conditioning based on the user’s situation based on the situation of the user, based on basic conditions”, after saying “Air conditioner operation is the facility’s judgment.”

A person in charge of the management suitability committee of the Fukuoka prefectural social welfare council accepting complaints of welfare service said, “There were several consultations this morning,” The effectiveness of the air conditioner is bad, hot and humid “from facilities users, family members, staff Still never heard of a facility that cuts the air conditioner at night.

Heavy heat expressed by Japan Meteorological Agency as “disaster with risk of life”. As some disabled people are difficult to express their intentions, family worries are not exhausted.

Regarding the facility at the beginning where women gathered information, Fukuoka Prefecture’s Disabled Welfare Division has said that “Coaching should be attached as necessary so that accidents such as heat stroke do not occur” as a result of the interview of this paper.

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