Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Optimize bed positions in an area of limited space

The Spanish magazine El País article shows hundreds of beds in a big data warehouse structure.

All the beds are arranged as if they are on the points of a perfect square grid or mesh, each bed about 5 meters (16.4 feet) away from the two on the same row or the two in the same column, roughly as in this pattern

bed..bed..bed
.............
bed..bed..bed

But this is not the most efficient use of space in terms of keeping distance while maximizing the number of beds in this limited space. If we shift every other column of beds down (or up) by half a row, schematically like this

bed.......bed
.....bed.....
bed.......bed
.....bed.....

although the distance between two beds in the same column remains the same, the distance to the left and right beds has increased from 5 meters to sqrt(5^2+(5/2)^2) = 5.59 meters. This 59 cm or about 2 feet of increase in distance may not sound significant, but it's better to not waste any precious space in this situation. In this new arrangement, of course the position of a bed really has to be the position of the head of the patient in bed, since that's where the contagious cough comes out.

2 comments:

Bin Yu said...

Good thinking! You may also need to consider the easy of setup for the bed and medical staff can easily push through the equipment when urgent.

Yong Huang said...

Thanks for the comment Bin. The beds moved by half a row will sure cause some inconvenience. For example, very wide medical equipment has to enter the whole field from the right column. If you get it wrong, you can't move the equipment across to a different column.