After an intensive construction effort, Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center has officially opened its new dedicated Corona Unit. The Unit is made up of 60 individual patient bed stations and is housed in an area of the hospital that formerly served as the staff cafeteria.
Designed and equipped based on Shaare Zedek’s growing understanding of how to best treat COVID-19 patients, the Unit includes areas for various types of cases including intensive care, dialysis and a special area for women with Corona who have just given birth.
The need for a dedicated unit became apparent to hospital administrators very early on in the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020. With the understanding that combatting Corona would be an effort that would span many months and require extensive hospital resources, the planners identified the 700 square meter area that could be adapted for this purpose in a relatively short amount of time.
“We put extensive thought and effort into how we could create a Unit that would best respond to the growing needs presented by COVID-19 to the Jerusalem area,” explains Shaare Zedek Director General Professor Ofer Merin. “Developing this facility required no small amount of degree of imagination and foresight as just several months ago this area was being used daily to feed our staff. The reality is that it will be some time before we will be able to all eat together in a cafeteria setting so we have all worked hard towards the goal of adapting this space for this critical function.”
The new Unit is located in an area of the hospital on its third floor that is completely separated from other patient-care areas but also is easily accessible for admitting new patients. The Unit has been outfitted with a large investment of new equipment that enables it to care for patients of all degrees of severity as well as patients with other pre-existing conditions that will require dedicated care.
Tamar Keynan, Director of Nursing for the Internal Medicine Division said this development is an important step forward both for the patients and the medical staff. “There is a definite feeling of excitement and responsibility with this opening. The COVID-19 care teams come from all over the hospital and our previous Corona care facilities were other areas of the hospital that had been quickly repurposed. As a dedicated COVID-19 facility that was designed from the outset for this purpose this is an advanced treatment center with new equipment that can be best used for the very specific needs of these challenging cases. I know that our medical teams welcome the chance to use this new facility to provide the best possible care and be even better prepared for the continued challenges that we know lie ahead.”