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EMERGENCY FACILITIES


The unit has a total built-up area of 7.30 metres by 27.36 metres with an interior clear height of 2.8 metres. The functional characteristics of the


admission hospital unit are as follows: l Semi-covered waiting area fitted with 16 chairs, complying with the recommended social distancing, and maintaining differentiated inflows and outflows (Fig 4).


l Four admission/referral posts (triage) fitted with crystal shields to protect admission personnel. Waiting area for suspected cases.


l Four boxes to collect samples and run other tests on suspected cases.


l Outflow of improbable cases without going back on the circulation flow.


l Outflow referral of probable cases into the health centres.


l Medical and nursing personnel: vestibule, PPE donning room, restricted circulation to access consultation rooms, independent exit room for doffing PPE.


Intensive care unit The land area of the intensive care unit covers 250 square metres. The unit has a total built-up area of 7.30 metres by 34.20 metres with an interior clear height of 2.8 metres. The functional characteristics of the


intensive care unit are as follows: l Independent entrance and exit for patients and healthcare personnel.


l Independent PPE donning and doffing rooms.


l Independent exit for pathological material (Fig 5).


Figure 7. Intermediate care units.


l An air treatment plant has been included, with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter equipment and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or alternatively diluting contaminated air by adding fresh, clean air, which is technically simpler but inefficient as such dilution strategy requires more energy.


l A minimum of four air changes per hour (ACH) is estimated, and a


recommendation to achieve the goal of reaching six to eight ACH.


l Flow of treated air: fresh air will be distributed through the ductwork mounted on the centre of the unit hall. Contaminated air will be extracted through perimeter aspiration vents, one located under each bed, reducing the risk of contagion between patients and medical personnel (Fig 5, top right).


For the facilities (Fig 6) and intermediate care units (Fig 7), as other aspects of the project, the design incorporates recommendations in the ‘Guidelines for Limiting Contagion in COVID-19 Tent Clinic’, drawn up by Mass Design group and as per the Intensive Care Units Categorization Norms by the Argentine Society of Intensive Care Medicine.


Post-pandemic reconversion For the post-pandemic reutilisation of these units, and in line with the traditional functional development in the province, we have designed, by way of illustration, a primary healthcare centre. A semi-covered waiting room will


be incorporated, derived from the one designed for triage. The number and type of consultation rooms to be included will depend on the need of each location, resulting in a larger or smaller unit (Fig 8).


IFHE Figure 8. Post-pandemic reconverted units. IFHE DIGEST 2021


The authors of this article would like to thank Alejandro Aguirre, Pablo Aguirre, Josias Grade, Valentina Hobecker and Sebastian Norenberg for their assistance, and for the structural advice provided by Marcelo Bruno.


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