Inspired to help prevent any more tragedies around coffin and hospital bed shortages, Rodolfo Gómez got creative and invented a multipurpose cardboard hospital bed that, if needed, could be turned into a coffin.
The world was shocked when the news started showing images of the deceased in body bags laying on the streets and in the homes of local Ecuadorians. As the city became inundated with death they ran out of coffins and couldn’t keep up with the burial needs of the recently deceased. Families were forced to keep the bodies of their loved ones at home as pick up services had stalled.
Innovation in Colombia
The tragedy affected Rodolfo Gómez, the manager of a Colombian advertising company, and inspired him to find a solution. After careful consideration he designed a cardboard hospital bed that could be turned into a coffin. The bed can hold a weight of up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms) and only costs about $85 (€79) per bed. The innovation is meant to help clinics that could run out of hospital beds and prevent a shortage of coffins.
Whether the innovation will actually be used in practice is not yet clear, no orders have been placed so far. The multi-functional ‘cardboard hospital bed-coffin’ is re-imagining the end-of-life experience. For some it might feel morbid, as the hope is to get better in a hospital, however with limited capacity of ICU beds and a shortage of coffins this is an option that could be a saving grace for many communities, not only now, but in the future around the world.