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05 / 05 / 2021

University Hospital Ljubljana implements vertical evacuation strategy

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Evacuating a Hospital – You hope this never happens at your facility. However, whether you are working inside a hospital or are recovering as a patient patient, a fire or other disasters can happen every day. To make sure you are prepared for these kinds of situations, planning and training are essential. Fortunately, the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia, knows this all too well. This is why the hospital started training its staff members to evacuate patients with reduced mobility, and they even opted for two different ways. In addition, they have also recorded the practice on video to ensure other staff members can learn as well.

Lifts are often out of use during an emergency, and this is why hospital staff need to be trained in all types of evacuation methods. The role of the staff members is emphasized in the video because they are of critical importance during an emergency. In the video below, you can also learn how to evacuate patients via a staircase.

Now that you have watched the video, you will probably have noticed that it contained two different evacuation aids, which are explained further below.

S-CAPEPLUS Evacuation Mat – Basic Model

In the first part of the video (until 04:25), the nurses use this evacuation mat. This rescue device is strategically placed throughout the building and can be used to evacuate bedridden patients and patients or visitors with reduced mobility (e.g., when they are in a wheelchair).

S-CAPEPOD Evacuation Sheet – Standard Model

The second part of the video (from 04:25) uses the S-CAPEPOD Standard Model, which is permanently deployed underneath the patient’s mattress. It is located between the mattress and the bed frame, and by utilizing the body flaps, the patient is securely fastened to their mattress. The mattress on which the patient lies is then ‘transformed’ into an evacuation mattress in a matter of seconds.

Evacuating Patients Should Be The Job Of Healthcare Workers, Right?

Many healthcare facilities still use the strategy that the fire service is responsible for the evacuation of patients.

As fire prevention lecturer René Hagen has said before: “During a calamity, emergency services and personnel have to get to work before the fire brigade arrives. With an average attendance and observation time of 15 minutes, you cannot wait for the fire brigade. Smoke and/or fire can spread within minutes”.

Why Evacuating With Beds Is Often Not An Option!

At first, you would think evacuating beds is the fastest way to evacuate a department. However, that is often not the case.

There are, for example, three reasons why evacuating with beds is often not a (sensible) option:

  • The door frames are not wide enough.
  • Beds can cause a huge bottleneck when you switch to a vertical evacuation, as the beds will get stuck in the hallway and can cause blockages in corridors.
  • When fire hoses, filled with water, are laid across a corridor, it is impossible to maneuver over such a hose with a bed. This can also cause congestion and delays.

Which Hospitals Use The Same Method As UMC Ljubljana?

There are countless hospitals and other healthcare institutions that use evacuation equipment to evacuate less-mobile people.
Here’s a short list of other hospitals using this kind of equipment:

Amsterdam University Medical Centre (Netherlands)
University Medical Centre Erasmus (Netherlands)
University Medical Centre Maastricht (Netherlands)
University Hospital Brussels (Belgium)
University Hospital Ghent (Belgium)
The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS (UK)
Department of Veteran Affairs (Hawaii, US)
Parkview Medical Centre (Colorado, US)

Do You Want To Introduce An Evacuation Mat Or Sheet In Your Facility?

If you are a nurse, a fire warden, or a health and safety worker and are interested or want to use an evacuation mattress or sheet, you have come to the right place. The Tetcon team is happy to help you with a free consultation to discover what suits your organization the best.