Earlier in the year, at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown period on the 28th March, a Saturday, the Health Board in Cardiff held a meeting with the Operational Managers of Pathology to discuss the potential installation of a fully functioning laboratory into a temporary hospital dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients to be based in the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
This was part of an extensive project to convert the stadium into a ward area, laboratories and scanning area to include CT and X-ray.
The Trust made contact with Werfen on that Saturday evening asking, in the first instance, for assistance in moving one of the two IL TOP 550s instruments currently in use at the main Haematology laboratory at UHW to the temporary laboratory at the stadium. At this point, how long the temporary facility would be in use wasn’t known so, following a swift discussion around the potential knock on impact to the regular service Werfen offered a free of charge loan instrument for the Dragon’s Heart Laboratory. This would guarantee laboratory capability at UHW would not be compromised.
The role of the facility evolved during the planning period from initially being the main site for acute COVID 19 patients to the site being essentially a recovery/end of life centre.
One of our engineers attended a visit to the site on the 3rd April to assess space, power and network requirements in preparation for the installation. The assigned space was underneath the pitch in a storage area (shown below). This required extensive building work to construct a room and install ceilings in addition to power and cabling for network connections.
In the 2 weeks following the engineer visit, the extensive work began to construct a space fit for purpose.
By the time we attended on the 21st April the lab was almost complete, a few final works were being completed during the installation days.
The test repertoire required was the basic coagulation tests; PT, APTT, Clauss Fibrinogen, Thrombin Time and D-Dimer. These were planned to be performed on all patients on admission and for monitoring patient progress during their time in the facility.