5 elderly patients die in Gifu hospital after air conditioning breaks
Japan Today -- Aug 29
Another elderly patient at a hospital has died, police said Wednesday, following the deaths of four others possibly due to heatstroke after the air conditioners broke down.

The fifth person was an 84-year-old male patient who died at Y&M Fujikake Daiichi Hospital in the city of Gifu in Gifu Prefecture on Tuesday evening.

The hospital previously denied that its air-conditioning failure had led to the deaths of the other patients, also in their 80s, who passed away on Sunday and Monday.

It argued that staff members had moved patients with serious conditions to air-conditioned rooms and used fans to substitute for air conditioners.

The police received a report on Monday evening that four people had died at the hospital possibly due to heatstroke after the air conditioners broke down. They have since launched an investigation, suspecting it could possibly be a case of professional negligence.

Prefectural and city government officials inspected the hospital on Tuesday based on a law concerning hospital management. The temperature in Gifu city rose as high as 36.2 C on Sunday, according to a local meteorological observatory.

According to the police, two men and two women aged 83 to 85 were staying on the hospital's third and fourth floors and died between 8:40 p.m. Sunday and 11:35 a.m. Monday.

The hospital, which specializes in treating the elderly, said the air conditioners broke down on Aug. 20 and it had since used nine fans because it would need one month to fix the equipment.

岐阜市内の病院で入院中の男女4人が死亡した。4人はエアコンが故障した部屋に入っていて、熱中症が原因の可能性もある。 白衣とマスク姿で報道陣の前に現れたのは、岐阜市内のY&M藤掛第一病院・藤掛陽生医院長。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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