The United States is suffering a massive blow thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that there are over nine million active COVID-19 cases, with over 230,000 deaths. Governments have rushed to save their populations around the world, putting up new structures to deal with the influx of cases and having their medical staff work around the clock. Yet with all of this, medical systems are becoming bogged down by the sheer force of the outbreak. Amid this backdrop, a surprising savior may come for the medical fraternity in the form of a storage pod.
Storage Pods Being Repurposed as Medical Rooms
USA Today reports that a business founded by US veterans is converting used storage pods into remedial rooms for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The organization states that they’re designing these self-sustained rooms to have everything a regular hospital room needs to have. Additionally, the room comes with its own HVAC system that develops a negative air pressure within the pod, along with visual and auditory warnings that a patient can trigger if they need help.
The pods are retrofitted with fiberglass interiors, making the surface easy to clean. The first six units were met by celebration when delivered by the organization who intends to devote more time and money to these retrofitted, self-contained medical rooms. The units are affordable enough for health facilities to order a few, and they can be produced rapidly, which is vital to handle the massive influx of new cases. Since they’re made out of storage pods, they are incredibly mobile and can be deployed quickly to deal with emergency cases skyrocketing in a locale.
Dealing With a Strained Health System
The number of infections in the US continues to rise, and medical facilities, especially in urban areas, have been taxed. Beds and ICU monitoring rooms are occupied as soon as they become vacated. With the US healthcare system already burdened before the pandemic, these new cases have swamped several emergency rooms worldwide. Construction takes time that these facilities don’t have, and it’s hoped that these storage pod medical rooms will take up the slack. The Washington Post notes that the new wave of coronavirus infections at the tail end of October has trained several health facilities’ resources to handle them. These compact, lightweight, and flexible standalone rooms may be a perfect counter to the looming threat of overcrowding in these medical facilities.
Containers As Buildings Is Nothing New
Storage pods are simply more compact containers. Shipping containers, especially, have seen a rise in popularity as a cheap yet sturdy home construction option. Commercial buildings that have to meet stringent standards for safety don’t have the luxury of using containers for adding on rooms. However, these storage pod facilities may serve a purpose to help ease the massive pressure on the nation’s healthcare facilities. The company that produces them aims to make more to allow for an affordable way to shore up a medical institution’s bed count.