HOT SPRINGS, AR – A family in Hot Springs says things are heating up at National Park Medical Center as rooms reach uncomfortable levels.
Jessica Penny said her sister was admitted to the ICU Friday. She has Huntington’s Disease and was suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Penny arrived at the hospital around 8 p.m. that night. At that time temperatures outside were about 93 degrees.
“I think there was a big part of me that expected those doors to open and get that woosh of cold air, and when it didn’t, I was very shocked,” Penny said.
The hospital says the A/C is not broken or malfunctioning, however they say the unit has been working overtime to compete with the heat wave.
In a statement released, hospital leaders confirmed that the comfort level of their facility has been impacted at times.
Penny says temperatures reached 77 degrees in her sister’s room Saturday.
“She’s swatting at her head like this, and I realized at that moment, she’s wiping sweat off of her face,” Penny said.
Penny says there is a level of concern for her sister and others in the ICU.
“They’re fighting for — literally fighting for their lives in those conditions and that’s what’s been eating me up,” Penny said. “It’s been really difficult watch a situation like that and then feel helpless.”
The hospital says they are doing whatever they can to keep patients cool inside.
According to the statement, hospital leaders say, they have been moving patients to rooms that are cooler.
“The comfort of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance to us and we have an ongoing relationship with county, state, and federal regulatory agencies to ensure the safety of our patients,” the statement reads. “To help with the temperatures we have moved patients to rooms that are cooler and have provided temporary fans and spot coolers in our patient care areas.”
Penny says there’s not much she or the staff inside doors can do. Right now, she’s just hoping temperatures cool down enough to bring some relief inside.
Below is the full statement from National Park Medical Center:
“National Park Medical Center’s top priority is providing safe, high-quality care to our community. As you know, our state has experienced extremely high temperatures in recent weeks. Like many other businesses in our area, our HVAC units have been running at maximum capacity to combat the historic, oppressive heat, and while they are not broken or malfunctioning, the comfort level of our facility has been impacted at some times.
The comfort of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance to us and we have an ongoing relationship with county, state and federal regulatory agencies to ensure the safety of our patients. To help with the temperatures we have moved patients to rooms that are cooler and have provided temporary fans and spot coolers in our patient care areas.
Our focus remains on our mission of making communities healthier, and we are proud of our team members for their steadfast dedication to our patients every day, but especially during these high temperatures. Our facility remains ready and able to care for the patients in our community.”