New biocontainment units unveiled

This is the interior of newly unveiled medevac biocontainment units. | Courtesy of MRI Global
Earlier in August, the Department of State, the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program and MRIGlobal revealed new biocontainment units at the Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

Designed by MRIGlobal, the unites are flight-ready and ready to treat patients with highly contagious or dangerous diseases. They also serve to protect health care workers if they contract a disease while serving abroad and this allows for care while in flight.

According to the Ebola Program, these will serve as state-of-the art units. They are the result of a public and private partnership agreement of $5 million.

"There's nothing like this in the world right now," Senior Director at MRIGlobal Eric Van Gieson said in an accompanying video. "And it was developed in response to a perceived need. At its core, the system is designed to take away the risks associated with transporting patients with highly infectious or highly contagious diseases. And because of that the system is compatible with all aircraft types that are able to carry the system."

Each Containerized Biocontainment Systems is capable of treating four patients while preserving containment procedures while in flight. Each unit is eight feet tall, eight feet wide and 44 feet long and is designed to fit with most cargo in airplanes. Each unit has basic medical equipment and oxygen so that patients can receive supportive care for up to 16 hours.