Hospital infrastructures are taking a hard hit from the influx of COVID-19 patients with lack of supplies, equipment, space for patients, and overworked hospital staff.
With the abundant amount of materials and building capabilities development/construction companies have, there’s no question that there are alternatives to treating patients solely in traditional hospital facilities. States all over the country are being forced to get creative in finding ways to treat more patients quicker and more efficiently. According to Brian Kemp, Georgia plans to convert the Georgia World Congress Center into a 200-bed hospital to handle an influx of coronavirus patients. [i] The treatment center has been put in place to treat coronavirus patients experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of the disease to leave patients with more serious conditions to hospitals for the care required. [i] New York has converted various facilities like the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center into a temporary hospital as well as a field hospital in central park. [ii] “We’re going to use every place we need to use to help people,” de Blasio told reporters Sunday. “This is the kind of thing you will see now as this crisis develops.” [ii]
While some are getting inventive converting spaces to temporary hospitals, others are making history by stepping way outside of the box converting shipping containers to biocontainment COVID-19 pods. CURA, Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments, prototyped these shipping containers to be 8 feet by 8.5 feet by 20 feet, with each pod intending to function independently of the next, being retrofitted to include the medical equipment—beds, IV stands, and ventilators—necessary to treat two COVID-19 patients. [iii]
Different prototypes of these shipping container treatment pods are being developed all over the world, including Italy specifically. Architects are building pods with a design to work as a standalone unit, or connected by an inflatable corridor structure to create larger, multi-bed clusters. [v] This specific architect in Italy building these pods estimates each one to be produced for around $100,000 including all medical equipment, which is around a third of the pre-bed cost of an emergency fabricated hospital. [v] In Macon, Georgia specifically, state contractors will set up 18 shipping containers side-by-side in a parking lot outside Middle Georgia’s largest hospital if the city sees a surge in COVID-19 patients. Like other treatment pods, these will also be used for patients with less serious conditions, leaving the more seriously ill to hospitals. [vi]
A local builder in Gwinnett County (Georgia) says when he started seeing the need for extra room in hospitals, he knew it was his time to step in. After leasing a warehouse in Lawrenceville, GA and hiring 80 contractors in under two weeks, they’re now working 17-hour days, 7 days a week to build these treatment center pods. Each pod contains 4 patient rooms, including bathrooms connected by a corridor. [iv]
“Dr. John Wood, director of the hospital’s emergency centers, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that the makeshift rooms will only be used if necessary, and that if they are, ‘[they will be able to] take care of (patients) just like regular hospital patients, just outside the main facility.’” [vi]
Most of these shipping container conversions are being built as precautionary measures that are less actionable for areas where the surge of coronavirus cases hasn’t quite hit, but in order for these pods to be fully functioning there is a main component that is necessary: power. Rogers completes work in multiple different sectors of business, with healthcare being one of those. During this pandemic, some of Rogers’ main priorities includes finding ways stay connected with our community and take the steps to use our resources to help people stay socially distanced, while still being connected through technology and innovation. Head on over to our blog to see just how Rogers is dedicating time and resources to the pandemic.