Inflatable Hospitals

From Discover:

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the capital of Haiti yesterday, I watched the aftermath unfold in the news with horror. Yet something mentioned in passing during a Doctors Without Borders press conference gave me hope for the survivors.

“We’re prepared now and have prepared freight, including an emergency inflatable hospital so we can set up exactly those services we’re currently missing,” Paul McPhun, Doctors Without Borders operations manager for Haiti, told the press. An inflatable hospital?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a temporary hospital with inflatable components that can be deployed whenever needed. Doctors Without Borders has been employing them for years, including an impressive inflatable nine-tent, 120-bed center in Pakistan following a 7.6 magnitude earthquake there in 2005. The hospital post-and-beam frames can be made from the same fabric in inflatable lifeboats. Nylon interior and exterior walls leave space for air to create an insulating effect. The Cleveland Plain Dealer created an infographic showing one kind of inflatable hospital.

(via Boing Boing)