Six operations were cancelled due to suspected asbestos at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
Six wards were closed following reports of suspected asbestos dust in the air at the Glan Clwyd Hospital in North Wales. Air quality tests revealed “elevated ratings” of an unconfirmed substance in the hospital corridors.
A first-hand account from one visitor to the hospital in WalesOnline described “total chaos” as he visited his father who was due to have an operation. The man from Rhyl said, “They were sealing off the doors going into the wards and there must’ve been around eight to 10 managers and workmen outside the door to Ward 3 wearing protective suits and breathing apparatus.”
A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesperson stated, “This reduction in access is purely precautionary and there is no cause for concern at this stage.
“The health and safety of our patients and staff is paramount during this situation.”
Further air quality tests were carried out and the hospital was able to reopen.
Though the imagery of specialists in protective clothing may seem elaborate and alarming, when it comes to the risk of exposure to asbestos it is essential. The hospital staff were right to treat the suspicion of asbestos on the premises with such urgency, ensuring exposure to any asbestos was minimised. Asbestos should only ever be confronted by specialists wearing protective clothing.
The carcinogenic properties can cause lung cancer, such as Mesothelioma. In a premises like a hospital where people are receiving treatment for other ailments, the suspicion of asbestos should rightly be treated as highly dangerous – not only for patients, but for visitors and staff.
We recently blogged on the investigation into asbestos at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, highlighting the importance of reporting the discovery of asbestos for the wellbeing of others.
Julian Cason is a Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Cardiff.
Slater and Gordon Asbestos Lawyers can pursue compensation claims for people that have been exposed to asbestos at work.
If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos at work call the expert Personal Injury Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 844 0275 or contact us online. Have a question about asbestos? Feel free to write it in the comments below.