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Review Article

An introduction to portable field hospitals

Submitted: 25 July 2007
Revised: 16 April 2008
Published: 16 July 2008

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Author(s) : McLaughlin E, Papadopoulou A.

Citation: McLaughlin E, Papadopoulou A.  An introduction to portable field hospitals. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2008; 8: 830. Available: (Accessed 22 October 2017)


Recent international situations have prompted a resurgence of interest in the use of portable field hospitals for post-disaster relief scenarios. This article aims to evaluate and so consolidate information about the multitude of portable field hospitals manufactured and used today. By evaluating the field hospitals according to their architectural methods and comparing each to its ancient predecessors, the applications, limitations and benefits of each individual design type and model are clear. Data were collected by literature review and interviews of the users, manufacturers and designers. Recommendations for selection of a portable hospital for use in remote medical scenarios are discussed and compared, including: the degree of modularity; ability to intercomplex; and ease of transportability.

Key words:  disaster relief, early emergency medical care, emergency care, portable field hospitals.

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