Tuesday, January 17, 2012

old tubes for new hospitals

While old hospitals are being rennovated pneumatically in order to keep up the technological demands of clinical work (see last week's post), new hospital buildings are also being constructed to incorporate pneumatic systems in their infrastructure, from the beginning.

Recent examples of new hospitals with new pneumatic systems include McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, and the St Anthony hospitals in Midwest City and Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, USA. The technology is seen as efficient and time saving. Samples sent via the pneumatic tube system in the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, UK, save "vital time", while a new robotic letter sorting system in the hospital is processing letters at "lightening speed". In the new Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, USA and the new Orange Regional Medical Centre in New York, USA, pneumatic tubes are described as state-of-the-art medical technologies. While pneumatic tubes have been state-of-the-art for some centuries now, these computerised iterations are fascinating to consider in terms of how they adapt to, alter, interrupt and facilitate medical work in contemporary hospitals.

Next week: installing pneumatic systems in new wards in old buildings. How do pneumatic systems connect the past and the present?

This photo, from Flikr, shows a steamfitter for SwissLog checking pneumatic piping for dents. It is part of a series of photos taken by Marc Barnes documenting the installation of pneumatic pipes and other construction work at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Oaks Pavilion, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia (USA).

1 comment:

  1. Great post and links.
    Nothing like thinking you've just invented the wheel... : )