Hazardous IC Unit At Landspítalinn - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Hazardous IC Unit At Landspítalinn

Published October 10, 2013

Doctors working in the Intensive Care facility at Landspítalinn University hospital need preventative medication because of mould in the building and the elevator causes danger for patients.

The IC unit is located in an 80 years old building and, according to the senior physician, it’s been 30 years since it became dated for its function.

Gísli Sigurðsson, acting senior physician, has visited hospitals in over 20 western countries. “I’ve nowhere seen a facility as bad as the one we have at Landspítalinn by Hringbraut today,” he told RÚV.

He added that the IC unit does not fulfil half of the requirements about sufficient housing and patients’ safety by 1991 European standards.

For instance, it is such close quarters that patients there are in danger of infection. There’s room for 10 patients in the IC unit but most of the time, there’s only enough staff to treat 6-7.

Gísli pointed out that the elevator in the building is basically hazardous. “We have to squeeze to fit in there, it’s in effect dangerous for patients to be transferred between floors here. It’s a very old device and should have been replaced long time ago. Occasionally, the elevator gets stuck between floors. That means you can’t get any help if something happens to the patient meanwhile and, unfortunately, that’s occurred already.”

Mould is also a big problem in the facility. Gísli said that most of the windows are old and the window frames infected with mould. “When I’m working here, I need to take steroids to withstand being here. When I’m on holiday, I don’t. And I’m not the only one,” Gísli told RÚV.

He said that the only solution is to build a new hospital. “You can patch up things here and there but that’s what we’ve been doing for so long already. I, for instance, can’t see how we’re supposed to be working in these conditions five years from now. It’s unthinkable.”

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