North Dakota Shows Off its “Hospital On Wheels”

It’s a hospital on wheels … a semi–trailer puts all the resources of the North Dakota Department of Health on the road.

One of the main attractions at the North Dakota Hospital Association’s convention is the state’s new Mobile Medical Unit.

“It is a 53–foot trailer that basically folds out to an emergency room on wheels.  It is currently set up with a configuration for eight beds – it can surge and hold up to 16 beds,” says Ruth Hursman from the North Dakota Department of Health.

The unit was obtained by North Dakota from Minnesota for free back in May of last year, and has already been put into use by North Dakota, but it’s also part of a plan to keep the state safe and healthy going forward.

In an emergency, the M–M–U serves as a hospital on wheels and provides any service that a regular hospital would.

“A couple of the beds are specifically dedicated to more of the critical care … we would have the ability to do 12 EKGs, we have the defibrillators, the internal CO2 … anything you can do in a standard ER, we basically can do here,” says Hursman.

The mobile unit was on display at the hospital convention at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo to let everyone know it’s available.

“We just want to create awareness not only for the community here in Fargo, but advertise for the Department of Health and all of the other smaller communities in the area that this is a unit that they can request if needed for any reason,” says Matt Nelson from Fargo Cass Public Health.

This unit was used during the flooding in 2009 to provide medical care.

The Mobile Medical Unit can be up and running on site within two hours and has enough supplies on board to treat patients for up to 72 hours.