India unveils world's first portable hospital, can treat 200 patients : The Tribune India

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India unveils world's first portable hospital, can treat 200 patients

Having 72 aid cubes, mini medical centre can be assembled in 12 minutes in calamity-hit areas

India unveils world's first portable hospital, can treat 200 patients


Tribune News Service

Aksheev Thakur

New Delhi, December 2

Developed jointly by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence and the National Security Council, world’s first portable disaster hospital, consisting of 72 aid cubes, that can be deployed in mass casualty incidents was unveiled on Saturday.

Designed indigenously under Project BHISHM (Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog, Hita and Maitri), the system is tailored to treat up to 200 casualties in areas affected by natural calamities.

Surgeries, tests

  • Can perform 20 surgeries, carry out 72 tests
  • Prepared to handle bullet, burn, head, spinal and chest injuries, fractures, and major bleeding

Facility has…

  • An operation theatre
  • A mini ICU
  • Ventilators
  • Blood test equipment
  • X-ray machine
  • Cooking station
  • Food, water, shelter
  • Power generator

Each cube contains functional kits designed to address specific medical emergencies, particularly relevant in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief scenarios. Each cube weighs below 15 kg and is waterproof. It can be airdropped, carried by an individual or winched to a drone as well.

Wing Commander Sanjay Kumar, a member of the National Task Force, said, “It is a Make-in-India project. With these cubes, we can save affected people in a calamity-hit region during the golden hour. The carrying straps which will be attached to the helicopter can withstand 3,000 kg weight. All cubes are 15X15 in size. Each contains essential equipment and supplies. Among these are an operation theatre, a mini-ICU, ventilators, blood test equipment, an X-ray machine, a cooking station, food, water, shelter, a power generator among others. A mini hospital can be set up in 12 minutes. We can perform 20 surgeries and carry out 72 tests.”

“Usually, aid does not reach calamity-hit region the first day. With this, we can provide aid in no time and save lives. This swift deployment capability is crucial as it effectively bridges the crucial time gap from primary care to definitive care. Meticulous tests were carried out like paradropping the cubes from helicopters and drones. This can revolutionise the healthcare sector,” Kumar said.

Inputs from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) were also taken. Of the 72 cubes, 12 can be customised to meet the need of a primary health centre located in remote villages. Several startups were also involved in the competition of the project, a senior official associated with the project said.

The cubes can handle bullet, burn, head, spinal and chest injuries, fractures, and major bleeding. The Health Ministry is mulling to induct the portable hospital into the armed forces and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Along with the cubes comes a tablet in which the state-of-the-art BHISHM software is integrated. It will allow the operators to locate items quickly, monitor their usage and expiry and ensure readiness for subsequent deployment.

About The Author

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