Politicians present thermal protection plans for hospitals and nursing homes

Photo of author
Written By Kampretz Bianca

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

Karl Lauterbach (SPD, M), Federal Minister for Health, participates in the beginning of the “Progress Conference on the Heat Protection Plan for Health” at the Federal Ministry of Health. /image alliance, Christoph Soeder

Berlin – Just before the second national heat action day, the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) together with various partners such as the German Medical Association (BAK) Federal recommendations for thermal protection in hospitals and healthcare units presented. In the seven-page “sample thermal protection plan for hospitals”, recommendations range from a basic thermal protection organization, to technical thermal protection measures, to specific recommendations during heat alert levels 1 and 2.

“Climate change will make heat protection a permanent problem. Germany must be systematically prepared for this. Otherwise, thousands of citizens die unnecessarily every summer”, said Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) today after the 2nd conference on thermal protection, at which BMG discussed possible heat prevention measures together with numerous associations and organizations. “Heat waves are already more frequent and hotter than they were ten years ago, but this is just the beginning.”

However, when it comes to heat protection, you need to keep in mind that the danger of heat only arises a few days a year. You have to be prepared for these days, then you can save the lives of many people in Germany.

Task for society as a whole

“Thermal protection is an important concern for us doctors, because we have a responsibility to maintain the health of the population, but also the functionality of the healthcare system during extreme weather events,” said BÄK President Klaus Reinhardt. “But we cannot accomplish this task alone. Thermal protection is a task for society as a whole. That’s why it’s good that politicians also take the issue seriously.”

Reinhardt thanked Lauterbach on behalf of the medical profession for his commitment to thermal protection. It is remarkable what has happened since the first conference on thermal protection last year.

Data protection prevents direct contact with people at risk

“Heat-related deaths are a particular problem in Western Europe, especially as the temperature here is rising faster than in the rest of the world,” explained Lauterbach. “We have an elderly population in Western Europe, many of whom live in cities where temperatures rise disproportionately.”

Lauterbach explained that when it comes to thermal protection, Germany has adopted a lot from France, where many protective measures were introduced after the hot summer of 2003. However, it was not possible to take over the municipal registers, which can be used to contact people in France who need special protection against heat, Lauterbach said. One reason for this is data protection in Germany.

2024 will be a dangerous summer

However, the minister said that the measures taken since last year have already had an impact. The number of heat deaths fell from about 4,500 in 2022 to about 3,200 last year. Heat protection posters in GP surgeries and outreach to nursing home residents were particularly effective.

Lauterbach warned that 2024 will likely be a particularly dangerous heat year. “We also have to alert football fans who come to Germany because of the European Championship and offer them help,” said the minister. “We are currently preparing this.” In any case, the German Meteorological Office (DWD) now able to detect a heat situation five days before it starts. “This is how we get ahead of the heat wave,” Lauterbach said.

Appoint responsible bodies

The Model Thermal Protection Plan for Hospitals recommends, among other things, that each hospital designate an agency responsible for thermal protection and implementing the thermal protection plan. Each hospital must also create a facility-specific thermal protection plan that describes the workflow of each hospital department during hot periods.

A room plan should then be drawn up for the entire hospital, showing all rooms affected by heat, as well as cooling zones and recovery areas. Consideration should be given to purchasing coolants, such as cooling vests, for personnel in parts of the building particularly affected by heat.

As part of personnel planning, break regulations should be developed, which also provide for a reduction in working hours during hot periods. Home working and changing working hours to early in the morning and late at night should be enabled if possible. For employees who are particularly exposed to heat, options such as changing the work area during a heat wave should be considered.

Observe vulnerable patients

During heat warning level 1 from the German Weather Service, windows and blinds must be kept closed during the day. Bedroom doors should only be opened to the corridor when the windows are closed and shaded. It should only be ventilated at night or in the early hours of the morning. Cooling elements must be used in areas particularly affected by heat. For heat-producing devices, you should check what options there are to prevent the ambient temperature from rising. Sufficient refreshments must be provided to staff and patients on the wards, as well as in functional and waiting areas. A summer meal plan should be established.

Vulnerable patients should also receive more intensive observation. Individual adjustments to therapies, measures and interventions must be planned during the visit. © fos/aerzteblatt.de

Source link

Leave a Comment

AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk