Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam is home to one of only three specialized burn centres in the Netherlands. This was thus a rare assignment: design a new dressing change room for the youngest patients.
Children who undergo treatment at the burn centre have to endure a daily dressing change, a painful procedure that can last hours. The process is very hard on them, both physically and mentally. In a dressing change room for children, two aspects come together: the need for the very best medical care and the desire to alleviate these young patients’ suffering as much as possible. Our point of departure was thus to create a non-frightening space with the look and feel of a pleasant bathing area in a wellness centre at a luxury hotel. A space that reduces patient anxiety and stress and offers reassurance and distraction, where there is also room for parents to support their child.
Bandage changing occurs in three phases: undressing, the treatment itself, and calming down. Each child can choose a toy in the room. The light is soft, the environment feels fairly homey, and medical instruments are nowhere in sight. For example, glove dispensers and other supplies are concealed. During the treatment, parents are also allowed to be present and children can watch whatever they like on a giant screen, which offers some distraction from the pain and helps them lose track of time. After the treatment is finished, there is a relaxation area with soft light or sound, where patients can relax with their mother or father.
The dressing change room is a high-quality medical environment. Smart installation techniques, efficient layout and concealed storage spaces minimize the risk of infection from, often severe, burns. Maximum hygiene is naturally a top priority in this space, and everything is designed to provide as much relief as possible for young, traumatized patients during the painful treatment process.