Fortified ER installed in Haifa hospital

During the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah missiles struck a few meters from the Carmel Medical Center.

Hospital beds 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hospital beds 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A new NIS 59 million emergency department – fortified to protect patients, staffers and visitors from rockets and missiles and even biological weapons from beyond the northern border, was dedicated on Wednesday at Carmel Medical Center in Haifa.
During the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah missiles struck a few meters from the hospital. This gave the final push to build a protected emergency room.
The Haifa facility was built with 40-centimeter-thick walls made of cement that can stand up to missiles and close hermetically to prevent chemical weapons affecting those inside. Patient care will be able to continue during any such attack, the hospital said.
Carmel administrators and physicians spent many months observing emergency departments in the rest of the country and leading departments abroad before they decided what to do. The Carmel emergency department covers almost three times the space the old one had – to 2,000 square meters from 700 square meters, said hospital engineer Moshe Berger. The number of beds, however, has not increased because the new triage technique separates walking patients from those who are brought in lying down. Thus, those occupying beds have more space. Up to 80 patients can be handled simultaneously.
A triage nurse is on duty at the entrance to decide where to send each patient, and specialists treat the sick and injured inside. There is also an isolation room with negative air pressure where patients with infectious diseases can be treated without harming others.
Patients and their families will no longer have to wander from one place to another to undergo scans of various types, as all is in one department and available 24 hours a day. A computerized system using plasma screens keeps tabs on all who enter and their progress through treatment.
Intercoms are suited to the deaf, and there is a special telephone suited to the blind. Some counters have been lowered to accommodate those in wheelchairs.