The commonwealth of Pennsylvania received funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase eight portable hospital systems that are packaged as tow-behind trailer systems. The 50-bed hospital systems are strategically located across the state.
The systems, which can be inflated in five minutes by six trained people, can function in a variety of capacities including triage, acute care and inpatient treatment. They can also be adapted for use as first aid stations, field hospitals, mass immunization or negative pressure isolation units for suspected infectious disease outbreaks.
Health Secretary Everette James toured one of Pennsylvania’s new portable hospitals and underscored the important role the systems will play in providing medical care to people who become ill or are injured during an emergency.
“The current 2009 Novel Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak is a timely reminder of how important it is to be prepared for public health emergencies,” said Secretary James. “Portable hospitals are a key part of Pennsylvania’s preparedness plans. These systems are flexible and can be used in areas that don’t have hospitals, to support existing hospitals or as alternate care sites. And, because they can be operational within two hours of an emergency notification, enable us to quickly provide life-saving treatment.”