Last Update: 07/23/2005
The medical facilities of Imperial warships have expanded greatly in recent years with the continuous evolution of Klingon medical arts. Past generations put less interest in the development of sickbay facilities than today due to two main reasons:
Klingon beliefs about dying in battle.
Large amount of effort required to treat major combat injuries.
As Klingon medical practices have evolved and improved over the years, it is becoming more practical to restore wounded personnel to duty than to simply let them pass on to the Black Fleet. The aftermath of the Praxis disaster and the recovery efforts that followed it caused Klingon society to reevaluate some of its beliefs in the conservation of resources.
This conservation eventually extended into the preservation of one of the most important resources in the Empire: its soldiers. This does not mean that the beliefs of the Empire have been reversed, but some events may be handled differently than they would have been in the past. Injuries that were considered untreatable only a few decades ago under ideal conditions can now be treated effectively in a combat environment, allowing the wounded to be returned to duty in less time that in the past.
The Sickbay facilities are located below the area of the Science labs to permit medical personnel convenient access to the facilities of these labs. This location is also in relatively close proximity to the primary Marine barracks/staging area so that wounded personnel can receive treatment in a short amount of time once brought aboard. Five additional beds have been installed in this area, which is larger than on the standard Vor'Cha fitting of 30 beds. Additional patients can be accommodated in temporary facilities setup in cargo bays and holodecks (if available for use). Those who are classified as "walking wounded" may be allowed to recover in their quarters to keep medical space available for those who are in greater need. The latest in equipment and technology has been incorporated into this vessel.
One room of sickbay is setup as a waiting room for incoming personnel. The chairs in this room can be adjusted to accommodate the injuries of those waiting for treatment. Another area of Sickbay is configured for surgical procedures and support functions. The largest rooms are operating rooms. They contain all the normally used surgical tools and supplies needed. A replicator is installed in each operating room for any special needs, such as unusual instruments, replacement blood, artificial body parts (joints, bones, skin, etc). The operating rooms are relatively spacious to allow observers to view surgical procedures. The surgical areas are fitted with a transparent outside wall to allow additional observers to view surgical procedures. There are sonic scrub stations located next to the operating rooms for the surgeons to prepare in. Outside of the operating rooms is a turbolift dedicated to travel between the medical and biological sciences area. This is used to aid in the treatment of unusual medical conditions where detailed analytical work is required that is beyond the capacity of the equipment of Sickbay. Sickbay also provides for the crew's dental needs.
Adjacent to the main sickbay area is a large area intended for triage operations by use by ship and Marine medical personnel for organizing incoming casualties into treatment priority schedules. (see TRANSPORTERS section of this guide for information on Sickbay's dedicated transporter system). It is recommended that at least two medical personnel per duty shift are to be certified as being qualified for transporter operation at all times. Engineering personnel will be made available for training and operation work when needed and available. The entire Sickbay facility can be secured with containment fields to prevent contamination of the rest of the vessel when needed.
Adjacent to both Sickbay and the triage center is a room of 20 stasis chambers. These units are used for patients whose conditions require them to be put in suspended animation if their condition is not immediately treatable. These patients will either be revived later to continue their treatment or transferred to a Starfortress or other facility. This procedure seems somewhat unusual for Klingon beliefs and practices but times arise where it is required that the patient must survive their injuries in the interests of the Empire. In the case of disease, patients may be transferred to other facilities better able to study and treat their illness. These units are also used when the Sickbay facilities become swamped with casualties and there are not enough resources to allocate to all treatable patients. Special stasis chambers are used instead of standard Marine hypothermia capsules due to the ability to control conditions to a finer degree than allowed by the Marine units. There are devices installed in these chambers to supply the patient with medication and nutritional supplements while in stasis. A patient in full suspension should not need these supplements as their bodily functions (as well their medical problems) should be halted almost completely. If the patient cannot withstand full suspension, they can be put into stasis to a lesser degree, which will then require the supplements to replace what is consumed while in storage.
The Sickbay area also includes two large rooms equipped with regeneration tanks. These can be used to recreate lost limbs for injured personnel. These procedures utilize a notable amount of time and medical resources and are often reserved for higher-ranking personnel that are more difficult to replace and valuable to the Imperial military. When regeneration procedures are begun aboard ship, it is common practice to transfer these patients to a shore-based facility to continue treatment at the earliest opportunity. This facility is the closest of all Sickbay functions to the hanger deck to make patient movement from the vessel to a Starfortress or planetary facility an easier task. The patient (regeneration tank and all) will be beamed to the Starfortress if possible, otherwise a cargo shuttle will be used to move the tank and patient.
First aid stations are installed in various locations throughout the vessel, including:
The Forward Weapon Module.
The Hanger Deck.
The primary Marine staging area.
Among the ship's holodecks.
These stations are intended to handle two types of conditions:
Injuries too minor for a doctor yet serious enough to require immediate attention.
Severe injuries that require stabilization before the person can be moved to the Medical bay.
Personnel manning these stations are usually comprised of nurses and other aides. A fully-trained doctor may be positioned there if a need is foreseen in advance and can be spared from the Sickbay area itself. Alternately, these personnel are often sent to the injured person's workstation so that they do not have to leave their post for treatment when possible. These stations are equipped with large supplies of first aid material which would be used to replace material from first aid kits located around the ship if used before they arrive on the scene.