The Consequences of Poor Ductwork Maintenance

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow hit the headlines recently with regard to its ductwork. An eleven-year-old boy and a seventy-three-year-old woman died in the hospital from an infection linked to pigeon droppings.

The hospital’s staff raised concerns that the infection may well have been linked to the poor state of the ductwork and ventilation systems but were ignored by the hospital’s managers. Following the deaths, Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, ordered the conducting of an investigation into the safety and cleanliness of the hospital.

The investigation exposed a list of serious concerns with the hospital, which opened just four years ago at a cost of £842 million. The report, among other things, confirmed the suspicions of the staff regarding the ductwork and indicated that its poor state of repair was responsible for the deaths.

The hospital’s managers were criticised by the report conducted by Health Improvement Scotland for failing to act. This incident so clearly highlights the dangers involved in the neglect of ductwork and ventilation maintenance, even in a relatively new, high-tech facility.

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