Evacuation for Hospitals
Should an emergency situation occur in your hospital, it is the responsibility of nurses and orderlies to ensure that all patients can evacuate the hospital safely. Emergency services are not responsible for the evacuation of patients. It is only their job to deal with the emergency at hand, so it is up to orderlies, nurses and other hospital support staff to evacuate the people in the building safely.
As the responsible person, having a generic emergency evacuation plan in place is your first step in ensuring that you have correct procedures in place to evacuate a hospital - not only horizontally but vertically, as well. It is also important to remember to arrange alternative shelter accommodation in the event of a full emergency situation.
There are dozens of different types of units and wards in a hospital that houses patients with a wide range of conditions that could prevent them from evacuating the hospital safely in the event of an emergency. As the nominated responsible person for emergency preparedness at your hospital, you must consider the various types of patients who will need assistance evacuating the building if the need arises:
- Patients in podiatry and physiotherapy units
- Pregnant patients in antenatal clinics
- Visually-impaired patients in ophthalmic clinics
- Patients in psychology and psychiatry
- Patients in geriatrics
- Bed-bound patients
- Patients under local or general anaesthetic
- Lymphoedema patients
- Physically injured patients
Considerations for evacuation planning in hospitals
As such, your hospital will likely need a wide range of evacuation chairs and evacuation mattresses, as well as accessories that ensure the comfort of your patients. For example, padded seats are helpful for patients in wheelchairs, while harnesses are ideal for transporting and evacuating unconscious or very frail individuals from the hospital.
It is also important to consider that a large portion of the population will be staying in overnight accommodation. Many bed-bound patients will require the assistance of an evacuation mattress as it will be difficult for them to shift from a lying position in bed to sitting upright in an evacuation chair in the event of an emergency hospital evacuation.
So, you should double-check that you have enough evacuation equipment in the hospital to ensure that all mobility-restricted patients and visitors can escape safely in the event of an emergency hospital evacuation. In addition, this equipment should be placed in locations that are accessible for patients and the emergency support teams who will be allocated to evacuate the wards.
Nurses and orderlies should be trained to evacuate all types of patients in the event of an emergency. This means that they should be able to use evacuation chairs and evacuation mattresses, and they should be able to do so with confidence. Evacuation drills can be very helpful, ensuring that all staff members know their individual responsibilities in the event of an emergency as well as the location of emergency exits and designated meeting points.
Additionally, any evacuation equipment within the hospital should be in proper working order, and regular servicing and maintenance of evacuation chairs and mattresses will help to ensure that if an emergency evacuation is required, that the products you have do their job efficiently and more importantly, safely.
If you would like to discuss how Escape Mobility can help support you with emergency evacuation planning at your hospital, or if you would like to discuss planning and agreeing evacuation equipment needed for your hospital, give our team of specialists a call today on 0844 800 1775.