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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

SABA, Lucia Cristina de Paiva; CARDOSO, Telma Abdalla de Oliveira  and  NAVARRO, Marli B. M. de Albuquerque. Hospitals safe from disasters: a reflection on architecture and biosafety. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.2, pp. 176-180. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000200013.

One of the biggest challenges in today’s society is facing adversity caused by disasters. Health facilities, especially hospitals, are considered essential in these situations. This article discusses the principles of architectural design of hospitals safe from disasters, as proposed by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. Designing a safe hospital requires multidisciplinary efforts, involving administrators, architects, engineers, physicians, and nurses. The planning of each hospital demands the analysis of specific risks and safety concerns. The concept of biosafety should also be addressed in planning safe hospitals. The balance between architectural aspects and biosafety provides an understanding of work-associated risks, facilitating the adequate planning of spaces to support response actions to emergencies. In short, the planning of a safe hospital requires the synthesis of various types of expertise, including those relating to biosafety and architecture. These principles should support the appraisal of safe hospitals and architectural planning with a focus on preparing facilities to function at full capacity even in the face of adverse situations.

Keywords : health risk; exposure to biological agents; hospital design and construction; disaster planning.

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