Research description

ProTect: Development of a heat action plan for the Augsburg University Hospital

Project start: 2024
Project end: 2026
Project executing organization: Intramurale Forschungsförderung Med. Faculty, Chair of Regional Climate Change and Health
Project responsibility on site: Dr. Irena Kaspar-Ott, Prof. Dr. Elke Hertig



The most direct manifestation of climate change is the increased frequency, intensity and duration of heat extremes and heat conditions. Healthcare providers and professionals have a key role to play in preventing the health effects of heat events, as they have a direct interface with vulnerable groups, especially the elderly and sick. Action plans to prepare for these events must therefore be developed, particularly for hospitals.

According to the WHO and BMU recommendations for the development of heat action plans, an assessment of heat-related health risks should be carried out, starting with a quantification and characterisation of heat stress. This should be followed by an inventory of possible measures and an assessment of the future heat risk. Finally, appropriate preventive and countermeasures will be defined and evaluation criteria for their implementation will be developed. This will lead to the development of a heat action plan, which will be discussed with experts and stakeholders. The testing of the plan and an analysis of the results from the testing phase will be used in an evaluation phase to improve the plan. The plan will then be implemented on a permanent basis.


Specifically, continuous measurements of indoor temperatures in the buildings of the Augsburg University Hospital will be carried out as part of a measurement campaign. Sensors will be placed in rooms with different exposures (e.g. south versus north side, lower, middle, upper floors) and building characteristics (e.g. characteristics of the heat-transferring surface of the building envelope and type of heating, cooling and ventilation technology). In order to assess the current heat resilience, a questionnaire-based survey will be conducted to assess the subjective perception of heat stress by staff and patients and the level of knowledge about the effects of heat. In addition, the hospital management or relevant departments, as well as medical and nursing staff, are asked whether and what measures are already taken in the event of heat stress, such as adjusting the ventilation in rooms, the amount of fluids given to patients or the administration of medication. The Centre for Occupational Medicine plays a key role in the surveys and in communicating with the relevant departments.


Dr. med. Gabriele Rohe, Leitung Zentrum für Betriebs- und Arbeitsmedizin (ZeBrAA), UKA
Prof. Dr. Andreas Matzarakis, Zentrum für Medizin-Meteorologische Forschung, Deutscher Wetterdienst