Doctors probe ‘sick’ hospital

Doctors working at the Elena Venizelou General Maternity District Hospital yesterday called for the Athens institution to be temporarily closed following the death of a nurse from allergic shock two weeks ago and the affliction of another eight hospital employees with respiratory problems that is being linked to a condition known as sick building syndrome (SBS). The eight employees were sent home earlier this week after suffering from acute throat irritation. Hospital managers have switched off the air-conditioning system to avoid the spread of potentially dangerous germs. According to Panagiotis Efstathiou, head of the Health Ministry operations center, experts are investigating whether certain materials in the building might be to blame for the nurses’ affliction. SBS refers to a range of symptoms that develop in work spaces, often due to flawed ventilation systems.