In an emergency medical situation, sometimes a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. With this in mind, a hospital in China has issued its staff with an unusual addition to their standard medical gear: kick scooters.
At the neonatal department of the MCH Institute in Hubei Province, the wards are connected to the nurses’ offices by two hallways. Patients say the connection is an important lifeline, but when the condition of a delicate newborn suddenly changes, the 80-meter long corridors can mean nurses struggle to get to the patient quickly. In order to expedite their arrival, the hospital has supplied the staff with three kick scooters and five bicycles.
According to the head nurse, “For us, time is the most important consideration. The condition of seriously ill newborns is extremely delicate, and we have to provide them with round-the-clock care. If their condition changes, we need a nurse to be on the spot within seconds to provide treatment.” With the addition of the scooters, the nurses have shaved seven seconds off their response time.
However, when this story hit the net, people were quick to ask whether tooling around a hospital on scooters was really safe and whether it would impact sanitation, among other concerns. Picturing the confusion and congestion of your average Chinese hospital, many people seemed to feel this innovation would lead to more accidents than it prevented.
The head nurse was quick to ease their concerns, though. “The scooters and bicycles are sterilized every day along with all the other medical equipment. And in the interest of safety, these vehicles are absolutely not allowed into the hospital rooms. Finally, these vehicles have been provided solely in order to travel the corridors in the case of an emergency.” She added that there was no cause for concern.
Personally, we think nothing would brighten up a neonatal ward quite as much as nurses happily zooming around on scooters, at least until jetpacks hit the market, anyway.