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Simulating movement devices used in hospital evacuation

Simulating movement devices used in hospital evacuation

Hunt, Aoife L. E., Galea, Edwin R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0001-6665, Lawrence, Peter J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0269-0231, Frost, Ian R. and Gwynne, Steve M. V. (2020) Simulating movement devices used in hospital evacuation. Fire Technology, 56 (5). pp. 2209-2240. ISSN 0015-2684 (Print), 1572-8099 (Online) (doi:

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In hospitals, the evacuation of those with severe movement impairments can be highly problematic for the patients, for the staff and for other evacuees. It is critical to understand the performance of horizontal and vertical evacuation procedures, including the means by which people with reduced mobility can be assisted during stair descent. Microsimulation modelling provides a useful tool to assess evacuation strategies, given the challenges of preparing and transporting patients in need of on-going care and the unfeasibility of real evacuation drills. However, current simulation models typically focus on the movement of individual agents, not the staff-patient interactions and sizable equipment required to carry out assisted evacuation. To address this, the buildingEXODUS evacuation model has been enhanced to represent moving objects in addition to moving individual agents. This paper describes the modelling theory behind this development, where dedicated data has been applied to enable the explicit specification of evacuation devices, operated by agents (for instance, representing the vertical travel speeds achieved—with averages ranging between 0.6 m/s and 0.84 m/s—when employing different movement devices). Algorithms are presented that calculate the movement of devices along corridors, through doorways and in stairway descent, including a method of geometric decomposition of the available hospital evacuation routes. This new functionality addresses the key evacuation components of repeated patient collection and has numerous applications, both in simulating hospital evacuation and in representing evacuation of other premises that include people with reduced mobility. Examination of the performance of this functionality found it predicated performance within 6% of expectation. Once further testing is completed, the resultant tool can be used to significantly enhance planning and diagnostic capabilities related to the evacuation of hospital and other healthcare facilities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: evacuation simulation, hospitals, healthcare evacuation, people with reduced mobility, assist devices, fire evacuation
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA)
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA) > Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 13:06

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