Health Ministry ready to build field ICUs for hospitals

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020

UTMVentilAid ventilator

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is ready to build several field intensive care units (ICUs) to help ease the burden of hospitals in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Such buildings, which cost less than RM2mil, can be constructed within 25 days and can house up to 10 patients at one time.

The Field Hybrid Intensive Care Unit (HyICU) is currently being developed by the ministry in collaboration with UEM Edgenta Bhd, as an alternative solution to support a possible increase in ICU demand.

“We have identified several hospitals that we can potentially install these field hybrid ICUs.

“At present, the ministry has enough ICUs to cope with the existing demand, but these field hybrid ICUs can be built in case there is a sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 patients requiring ICU support, ” said the ministry’s Engineering Services director Tauran Zaidi Ahmad Zaidi.

The design of the field hybrid ICU is simple but efficient, and is equipped with electrical supply, a donning room, a nurse station, air conditioning and ventilation system.

Tauran Zaidi said the field hybrid ICU was inspired by the same technology that was used by the military to build field hospitals.

“The construction of this field ICU is done at a factory and therefore does not require renovation at existing hospitals. This way, there would be no interruption to existing ICU wards, ” he told a media briefing on the ministry’s strategic collaborations on health engineering innovation.

The event was launched by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

Other innovations that were unveiled at the programme were a prototype ventilator built using 3D printing technology as well as a prototype “splitter kit” for ventilators.

The prototype ventilator is inspired by an innovation called “VentilAid” introduced by engineers from Poland. The ventilators are cost-efficient and can be constructed easily using 3D printing technology.

“We have enough ventilators at our hospitals at the moment, but this prototype ventilator can be an alternative to support our Covid-19 patients in case there is a surge in demand for ventilators, ” said Tauran Zaidi.

The splitter kit for ventilators is inspired by the military, which uses a similar device to allow more than one person to share one ventilator.

Both the prototype ventilator and splitter kit are currently in development stage, and are being designed by the ministry in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

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