The design of the critical care unit has a direct impact on the functionality and performance of the critical care department. The Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM) has laid guidelines on Planning and Designing Intensive Care Units. Dr. Narendra Rungta was a part of this committee.
Some of the salient features include
Equipped for convenience
Equipment used in critical care units should be movable/portable (never fixed) to facilitate cleaning and disinfection of the surrounding area and the equipment itself.
Adequate lighting for better functionality
Light required for general patient care should be bright enough to ensure adequate vision without eyestrain. Light switches should be strategically located to allow some patient control and adequate staff convenience.
Noise level in ICU
The international Noise Council recommends that the noise level in an ICU be under 45dBA in the daytime, 40dBA in the evening and 20 dBA at night.
Patient centric design
Patients may need rest and quiet surroundings during the day, blackout curtains or blinds or ‘individual eye’ may be used around the patient’s bed. Lights that come on automatically when cupboard doors or drawers are opened are quite useful.
Secondary remote monitoring devices can be used by nurses & doctors to observe patients intermittently at night without entering the room and disturbing the patient.
Critical care units should be fully air-conditioned and capable of controlling, humidity and air change. If air conditioning is not available, then one should have windows that can be opened (preferably with the tilt and turn design) to maintain airflow. Air movement should always be from clean to dirty areas.
Central air-conditioning systems and re-circulated air must pass through appropriate filters. It is recommended that all air should be filtered to 99% efficiency down to 5 microns
Hassle-free uninterrupted power
An Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system is preferred for the CCU and in an event of power failure it should be sufficient to run the CCU’S equipment. Voltage stabilization is also mandatory.
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