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Humidity Levels at Victoria General Hospital Exceed Safe Operating Levels

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals are sounding the alarm over humidity and heat levels at the Victoria General Hospital, after record temperatures over the weekend.

Liberals spoke with health care workers who say the Victoria Hospital has had HVAC issues for decades as the entire building only has two air conditioning units. Liberals were told that one unit broke down last week, and has resulted in the hospital resorting to fans for more airflow within the hospital.

"The PCs and Shared Health need to make this a priority because we know there is a high likelihood of more heat waves this summer, which is creating dangerous conditions for both workers and patients alike," said Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface.

Surgeries may have to be cancelled, as they cannot operate above a certain level of humidity. Further consequences are that sterile items may also have to be thrown out, or repackaged and sterilized.

"It is essential that operating rooms are kept below 60% humidity for proper sterilization and safety purposes," said Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights.

"We need to know what the province's plans are with respect to operating room use should the relative humidity rise above 60% as is possible with the high temperatures this week in Winnipeg."

Liberals say workers, patients, and families all deserve to know what the PC and Shared Health plan is to manage the current situation and to get the HVAC issues fixed as soon as possible.

"Hospital air conditioning is not a luxury, it is a necessity to maintain basic comfort levels for patients and staff, and allow people to operate in sterile conditions. This is not a luxury or an option

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