Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – Constanţa County Hospital, Constanţa
We have provided site engineering and project management for the modernization and improvement of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Constanţa County Hospital. The project was developed by two Romanian associations, “The Heart of Children” Association and “Give Wings” Association and financially supported by Vodafone Romania Foundation.
The project for the new NICU in the Constanţa County Hospital took as model the best existing unit of the kind from the Iowa University Hospital. This concept was first implemented in Romania by “The Heart of Children” Association in the construction of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at “Marie Curie” Children’s Hospital.
The new neonatal intensive care unit has a surface of about 600 m², large enough for 15 intensive care rooms, normally designed for 22 patients and with the infrastructure for 30 patients.
Children are taken care of in very modern medical rooms, with state-of-the-art air conditioning, medical gas installation, specialized medical furniture, new incubators and the latest medical devices.
The old Neonatal Unit was built in 1968 and there has been no improvement since then. Therefore we found inadequate spaces for the treatment of the babies.
In order to make a sterile environment all the plaster was removed and replaced by new one. All the walls which showed structure deficiencies were rebuilt.
A customized solution was found in order to ensure the installation of a state-of-the-art heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a building dating back to 1968. The HVAC system, meant to meet the requirements of an intensive care unit, relies on an air-cooled chiller and a hygienic grade air treatment unit which uses 100% fresh air.
The sterile air is distributed to the intensive care rooms through high efficiency HEPA 14 particulate air filters. Owing to this solution, minimum invasive emergency surgery can be performed in the intensive care rooms due to overpressure of the sterile air that eliminates contamination risks.
Considering that the erection of the building was performed according to the construction standards of 1968, auxiliary metal beams were necessary to support the ceiling pendants for the distribution of medical gases to every patient bed. Depending on the severity of the medical cases, the ceiling pendants can support various medical equipment and vital signs monitors.
Because of the narrow space in the central area of the NICU a special metallic structure was designed and mounted in order to vertically install the HVAC and fume extraction pipes and the cable beds for the great number of electrical and data cables.
Low noise environment and customized illumination systems provide the infants with the comfort necessary for their development in their first days of life.
For the new NICU we chose a shading system with electrically controlled aluminium blinds which affords the control of natural light all day long.
Besides natural light, we installed various lighting systems in the intensive care rooms, which are used depending on the requirements for direct light, indirect light, lights for surgical procedures and vigil lighting with variable intensity.
In case of fire, the HVAC system can provide mechanical fume extraction from the central area and from escape routes. Fume and hot gases extraction from the intensive care rooms and wards is to be performed by automatic opening of the windows and of the aluminium blinds.
The electrical installations of the new NICU are designed according to the newest requirements of operating rooms or theatres and intensive care units. They are made up of customized special electric panels with transformers for medical applications which warrant service continuity, the quality of electrical power and also warrant personnel and patient safety.
Every intensive care room was provided with special doors, which can either slide or open wide, thus allowing the use of oversized medical equipment. All these doors are automated and sensor operated.
Because of the “one-bed room” concept, surveillance of the patients is crucial and has to be achieved by state-of-the-art medical equipment and surveillance cameras. The IP video surveillance system affords focusing both on the patient and on the vital sign monitor. All the information resulting from this equipment can be seen by the medical staff centralized on a video wall.
The telemedicine system that was installed allows watching complex medical procedures in real time and also permits multidisciplinary examinations and a complex diagnosis of the new-born infant. The final diagnosis can be made in cooperation with other Romanian medical centres and with highly specialized foreign clinics. The telemedicine system can also ensure training of physicians and students.
The total investment for the modernization and improvement of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Constanţa County Hospital was of about € 2,060,000. The financial aid of Vodafone Romania Foundation amounted to € 1,540,000, the contribution of “Give Wings” Association was of about € 280,000 and the contribution of “The Heart of Children” Association was of about € 240,000.
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