The neonatal UCI projected by our study at the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, popularly known as Can Ruti, has been converted into an UCI for critically ill and semi-critical patients during the period of sanitary emergency to expand the capacity of necessary beds and Covid-19 accommodate patients.
Located on the sixth floor of the Maternal Tower of the Badalona’s hospital, this area of the Neonatology service has been adapted thanks to the initial approach we made based on a large and open space without a perimeter corridor on the façade. In the new hospital projects that we devised, we try to provide the greatest possible flexibility to the spaces. But after events such as the Codiv-19 pandemic, these possibilities will have to be further enhanced. We must conceive flexible and modular spaces, and choose construction systems to allow these adaptations. The biggest problem is the retrofitting of the facilities, all of them with innovative technology and requiring very specific refurbishment. Other aspects to deal with and that will also have implications at the design level are, for example, electrical, air conditioning and air quality installations, which in a UCI are much more demanding than in other spaces.
As Jose Maria Rimbau Lopez, an engineer from the Hospital’s Works and Projects Department, explains, the adaptation has been simple. “A lock has been made with numerous points of sinks, in communication with the Control of the UCI so that the staff can safely remove the EPIs (Personal Protective Equipment). It has also been of immense value to have two doors in the Semi-critical UCI. In this way, a corridor has been generated for the Nursing Control to communicate with the interior corridor and allow access for staff without going through contaminated spaces. The design that CASA SOLO made and the materials used have allowed us to readjust pressures to depress the UCI, while the nursing controls were over-pressured by having impulse diffusers (all, of course, with HEPA filters, a type of high-efficiency air filter) .The truth is that the Healthcare personnel have confirmed us that the space works safely.”