• Jacksonville emergency room's air conditioning broken for 5 days

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UPDATE: A Memorial Hospital spokesperson tells Action News Jax reporter Jenna Bourne the air conditioning was fixed Monday night -- after it was broken for five days.

    Original Story:

    Patients have been sweltering in the standalone Memorial Emergency Center in East Arlington after the air conditioning broke down five days ago.

    “I’m weak, wheezing,” Memorial patient Angel Fussell said.

    Fussell was on bed rest Monday, with her emergency inhaler in her lap.

    She said she went to the Memorial Emergency Center on Kernan Boulevard and Atlantic Boulevard on Saturday with chest pain.

    She said she wound up needing a breathing treatment because of the heat.

    “Heat causes my asthma to flare up. And I just want to know, why was I not notified?” Fussell said.

    Fussell said she took a picture of the thermostat in her room showing it was 83.5 degrees.

    She also took a video of a fan she said was brought into her room.

    “And the employees [were] sweating, the nurses, the doctors, sweating,” Fussell said.


    Memorial Hospital spokesperson Odette Struys said one of the emergency center’s four compressors went down five days ago.

    “I mean, this is Florida and it gets really hot. So unfortunately, our A/C broke down and we’re waiting on the compressor part that’s due in today, so it should be fixed today,” Struys said.

    Struys said, normally, the compressor part they need from Oklahoma takes two weeks to deliver, but the company was able to expedite that delivery to five days.

    A crane carrying the compressor part showed up at the hospital around 5 p.m. on Monday.

    Fussell said she thinks the hospital should have warned patients before they checked in.

    “There should have been a sign in the front waiting area, somewhere. Security was sitting at the desk. There should have been something notifying us, hey, the air conditioning is broken and let us make our own decision whether we wanted to stay there,” Struys said.

    Struys said the emergency center did not transport any patients to other facilities because of the heat.

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