Special isolation pods are being installed at two hospitals in Lanarkshire in a bid to ease pressure on intensive care units during the coronavirus pandemic.
Three of the Safehouse SafeClinic isolation pods, developed by Dundee-based company Starm Group, have been installed at the Adult Critical Care Unit (ACCU) at University Hospital Wishaw.
Two more pods will be installed at the ICU at University Hospital Hairmyres this week.
The equipment will be used to isolate patients with coronavirus and other infectious diseases in a safe environment while stopping the spread to other staff and patients.
Dr Stephan Dalchow, clinical director for anaesthesia and critical care at University Hospital Wishaw, said: “The ACCU team at Wishaw are really happy that the isolation pods have now been installed.
“These pods will prove vital as we continue to manage the ongoing challenge of dealing with Covid and non-Covid patients.
“These new ward bays provide ICU with additional state-of the-art isolation facilities. The standalone pods are used to isolate patients from the surrounding environment, which allows medical aerosol generating procedures in patients to be conducted safely.
“The system includes a portable airlock entrance system with high-efficiency particulate air-filtered ventilation which converts the existing rooms into negative pressure isolation rooms.
“This isolation capacity will enable the ICU team to look after Covid-positive patients and patients with other infectious diseases in a clinically safe environment whilst simultaneously helping to stop the spread to healthcare staff and other at-risk patients.
“This will also allow us to bring elective patients from a low risk pathway safely back into our Unit and to be able to co-host them with Covid patients in the same ward without the risk of cross infection. This means we can use our ICU and surgical high dependency unit again to full capacity as we did pre-Covid.
“The pods are a temporary installation but we plan to keep them in place for as long as required.”
Dr Austin Rattray, clinical lead for intensive care at University Hospital Hairmyres, added: “Following the successful installation of these pods in Wishaw, we will be installing two further pods in the ICU at Hairmyres this week.
“These pods will help us manage patients within our ICU in an environment that is safe for both patients and staff.”