Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) has set up a 'mobile field hospital' made up of a collection of nine inflatable structures. This 'plug-and-play' encampment is located on a soccer field just outside of Port-Au-Prince and will provide space for 100 beds, a surgery unit, an intensive care unit, and relies on a power and sanitation system that operates independently from the local infrastructure. The kits are designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. In an interview with Boing Boing, Laurent Didieu of MSF describes the set-up and theory behind the installation:
9 tents, 100 beds, including hospitalization and ICU and recovery beds. A triage and emergency tent, and two operations theatres. The idea is that within the tent we have a complete kit we can deploy including energy supply, water supply, all the sanitation, and all medical equipment inside the tent. In Haiti, everything needed to run a hospital including beds and biomedical equipment is included.
We want to be as autonomous as possible with regard to energy. In this case we have one 30 KV generator and one 60 KV generator. Plus an electrical board, and equipment to ensure electrical safety. And then you have all the electrical wire you need to set up lights inside the ward, and set up plugs for the medical equipment.
MSF designs and operates the units themselves and over the past decade, they have modified the design through field experience. All units use standard MSF components and technology and are designed to be employed in most any environment or situation. Since 2005 they have been used in such diverse locations as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and now Haiti. Pioneered by experimental designers like Ant Farm in the 1970's, the mobile field hospital by MSF proves how dynamic inflatable structures can be in response to time-critical building and infrastructure mobilization.
Seen on Boing Boing. Photos by Benoit Finck via Boing Boing.