Orthopaedic Operating Theatres – Major Upgrade
21st Sep 2017
Blackrock Clinic’s buildings and infrastructure have progressed through many structural changes over 30 years, determined not just by architects and governance, but by technology and medical developments. Our hospital has grown upwards and outwards. Major expansions have taken place. All alterations have been completed with as little disruption to services as possible. We are and have been driven by our mission to “deliver the highest standards of patient care through investing in leading technology, and maintaining a culture of continuous development”.
In February this year a group of experts convened to manage one of the larger projects of 2017, the upgrade of our Orthopaedic Operating Theatres. Some members of the project team were already familiar, having worked on the inaugural build. David Jordan (“David Jordan Architects”) was with site architect company “CCH Architects” at that time and Edwin Essig was Installation Manager with“Maquet Hospital Solutions”. Edwin has now been with Maquet (now a subsidiary of Getinge) for 42 years. He has worked with Maquet in surgical workflows installation in hospitals throughout Ireland, including the Galway and Hermitage Clinics, China, India, Dubai and the Middle East. Along with the rest of the team, he ensured that the project ran smoothly, to HTM and HBN guidelines, and to schedule. The beginning of September saw the theatres back in use in their newly primed condition.
The demands on theatre space are changing all the time. The modern theatre not only houses the patient, anaesthetist and surgical team. A vast array of robotic, diagnostic and interventional equipment must now travel in and out. Our two orthopaedic theatres have been given a complete structural and cosmetic overhaul to better facilitate these requirements. Theatre walls are lined with cupboards to house IT integration and multimedia equipment, and reduce theatre clutter. The solid ceiling is dotted with flush mounted ceiling lights and ceiling supply units to minimise dust residue. Prefabricated powder coated and stainless steel panels, manufactured in Germany and assembled on site, offer a seamless, hi tech surround.
As extensive as the refit was, perhaps there are two elements which will have the biggest impact:
Lead Lining within the walls and doors:
Lead lining has been integrated within all theatre walls and doors. This enables the orthopaedic theatres to safely accommodate CT scanning equipment. Replacing standard x-ray, this allows the surgeon access to real time multi slice imaging at the surgical site. The new doors are sliding and kick plate operated, meaning that no hand contact is required.
Laminar Downflow Ultraclean Canopies:
The latest ventilation solution for operating theatres has been installed using skirtless laminar downflow canopies, which ensure a cleanzone area around the patient. The air is recycled and cleaned through the canopy filters. The ventilation system in use is “Step Down Pressure Drop”. This means the air pressure decreases in pascals from the theatre, through the anti rooms, to the exit, which ensures that the theatre remains positively pressured. Used air is drawn out by the negatively charged exit areas leaving a fully sterile theatre environment.
With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, the operating theatre of the future is impossible to predict. We only know that Blackrock Clinic will embrace the change. Teamwork, open communication and a willingness to invest, train and adapt, place us in prime position to continue to achieve the best clinical outcomes.