General Field Hospital

Stewart Gray
Image: Stewart Gray

The general field hospital has the capacity to serve a population of 200,000 to 300,000. It has the ability to treat 150 to 250 patients per day. Standard ward capacity of the hospital is 160 beds.

Deployment layout for general field hospital

1. Gate
2. Water point
3. Latrine
4. Ward unit
5. Laundry
6. Showers
7. Kitchen
8. Morgue
9. X-ray
10. Medical warehouse
11. Laboratory
12. Intensive care unit
13. Operation theatre
14. Sterilization
15. Dispensary
16. Administration, incl. communication and data traffic
17. Workshop, general stockroom and technical depot
18. Communication antenna
19. Dressing unit
20. Outpatient unit
21. Water storage
22. Water purification
23. Generators
24. Waiting area and patient registry
25. 4x4 pickup
26. 4x4 all terrain vehicle
27. Personnel accommodation area
28. Sauna
29. Dining area, relaxation area.

Laboratory Tent

1. Patient area. “Staff only” on the other side of the curtain.
2. Heating poultice
3. Cell counter and blood glucose meter
4. Microscope
5. Laboratory fridge
6. Laboratory accessories
7. Sampling tubes
8. Water container
9. Centrifuge
10. Examination of urine, faeces and other excrete samples is performed in this part of the laboratory
11. Examination of blood samples is performed in this part of the laboratory
12. Blood sampling

The laboratory tent is part of the basic layout of both the general field hospital and the surgical field hospital. This unit is capable of performing 20 to 30 different laboratory examinations based on samples of blood; urine, faeces, and other excrete and puncture samples. The laboratory is staffed by one laboratory technician delegate and two local laboratory technicians.

The general field hospital has the capacity to serve a population of 200,000 to 300,000. It has the ability to treat 150 to 250 patients per day. Standard ward capacity of the hospital is 160 beds.

General field hospital offers outpatient services and, when needed, vaccination programmes or programmes to deal with malnourishment. General field hospital includes units for surgery and trauma patients, internal medicine, infectious diseases, paediatric patients and, if needed, tropical medicine. Hospital offers gynaecology services, ante- and postnatal guidance and a maternity ward.

General field hospital is deployed when an area, usually following a nature disaster, no longer offers adequate hospital-level health services to its population. General field hospital acts as a referral hospital for mobile or fixed basic health centres operating in the area.

Finnish Red Cross can, based on actual needs, either send the hospital as such or in combination with one or more of its ERU basic health centres.

Staffing of general field hospital

  • 1 Team Leader
  • 1 Medical coordinator
  • 1 Surgeon
  • 1 Anaesthesiologist
  • 1 Gynaecologist
  • 1 Paediatrician
  • 1 General practitioner
  • 16 Nurses (specialities: OT, anaesthesia, paediatrics, midwife, ward nurses)
  • 1 Pharmacist
  • 1 Laboratory technician
  • 1 X-ray technician
  • 1 Administration delegate
  • 1 Information delegate
  • 5 Technical delegates (specialities: water and sanitation, IT, electricity plus generalists)

In addition up to 200 local staff

General field hospital weighs app. 70,000 kilos and requires the transport capacity of 5 semi-trailer trucks. Two regular freight planes are needed to dispatch the hospital to its location by air freight.

Setting up a general field hospital requires a minimum of 4.000 to 6.000 square metres of suitable land.

Deployments of Finnish Red Cross general field hospital (by 1.6.2011):

  • 2001 to Bhuj, India, in connection with January 26th
  • 2001 earthquake. 2003 to Bam, Iran, in connection with December 26th
  • 2003 earthquake.
  • 2005 to Muzaffarabad, Kashmir, Pakistan, for ICRC use, in connection with October 8th 2005 earthquake.