No A/C in German hospitals

As this is my first experience as a grown-up to spend my holidays taking care of our daughter at the Unfallklinik (emergency hospital) in Frankfurt, I have come to realize that German hospitals have no air-conditioning yet and additionally, electric fans are not allowed.

40 years ago, if I had lain in a German hospital during summer time, I would have thought this is what everyone must endure. But in the year 2010, the attitude of German hospital towards A/C has not caught up yet to the modern times.

One one hand, a nurse explained, it is so hard to keep the filters clean. Well, American hospitals are able to keep theirs clean. On the other hand, the surgery rooms and the intensive care unit are equipped with A/C. If it works there, why not in the rest of the building? Of course, this is attached with a heavy financial investment, but plans for modernization have been drawn up and renovation is due to begin in 2012. The way I understood it, the implementation of A/C was not included.

When I asked about bringing in an electric fan, I was reminded that it would have to come with the European Inspection Seal, then get the hospital’s inspection seal, and it would have to be sanitized. But the most important factor is the hazard of cables on the floor. We are on a ward where crutches are lined up at almost every bed.

Well, if it can’t be a floor fan, I propose to add ceiling fans during the renovation process in 2012.

My task is now to send this suggestion to the Beschwerde-Management (*1).

In the meantime, temperatures are hovering around 38°C  – 40°C (100 F – 104 F). We are on the top floor (surgical ward), basking in the heat. The general mood of the patients is low-key with these temperatures, jokes and laughter are becoming rare, and suffering in this heat can not be good for their well-being.

Overheard a patient in a wheelchair getting chided by a nurse for riding around topless. He just said Ja, ja and kept on pushing his wheels down the hallway. Riding around topless must be a breach of German hospital regulations.

There will be plenty more as this heat-wave has just begun and it is supposed to last for the next six or seven weeks.

I have been digging for my Japanese tea towels, which I will wet and drape around our necks while at the hospital. I have also brought in several Koreans fans, which did not have to be inspected by the Krankenhauspolizei.

Other than he room temperature at the hospital, our daughter and I are in very good hands. You may want to read my All-inclusive in Germany report.

German verb for today:

*1 sich beschweren bei Dativ über Akkusativ (to complain to s.o. about


  1. Monika burmann says

    I believe it is not safe for Hospital staff or Patients,to be in a very Hot place.Germs grow in you need the cold in all Hospitals.


  1. All Around the World News says:

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. […] my previous post No A/C in German hospitals, I contemplated the lack of fans and air-conditioning in German hospitals. Additionally, most […]

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