BY MARK KOERS
Natural disasters, such as the tornadoes that tore through the heartland last week, often leave entire communities devastated and reeling. In the aftermath of disaster we usually see neighbors, families and even strangers coming together to provide food, clothing, a place to sleep, and other provisions to those in need.But what about the medical facilities needed to treat and care for patients – those who were injured in the disaster, and those who previously required care? What happens when a facility is forced to halt operations, disrupting the care of patients? Or worse yet, what happens when such a facility is decimated?
2011 JOPLIN, MISSOURI TORNADO
Modular Devices’ disaster response was put to the test after Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri suffered damages beyond repair in what was one of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history.
The hospital announced that it would rebuild (official open is slated for 2015), but needed quick and reliable interim solutions to help restore normalcy to the lives of its patients and staff. Within one week of the tornado, the Mercy crew had a 60-bed field hospital up and running.
RESTORING JOPLIN’S CARDIAC AND VASCULAR SERVICES
We deployed our largest cardiac cath lab to Mercy’s field hospital as quickly as possible. The Modular Cath Lab building allowed for easy relocation, while providing a more permanent structure and feeling compared to a mobile lab.
Joplin’s modular lab layout was a “double-wide”, and included a procedure room with more than 550 square feet of space – similar in size to many in-house cath labs. Equipped with a state-of-the-art GE Innova® 4100 X-ray imaging system, the lab included a 41cm digital flat detector, allowing St. John’s nurses and technicians to perform a variety of procedures including cardiac cath, peripheral vascular, implants, and cardiac and peripheral interventions.
While the circumstances under which Modular Devices and Mercy Hospital were brought together were harrowing, we were honored to have the opportunity to contribute to a community in need. One Mercy staffer in particular expressed gratitude, saying “it feels just like we’re inside the hospital.”
Leave it to a health care professional to find the silver lining in such a situation.