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The Medical Deck of the USG Ishimura is a large complex located amidships towards the dorsal surface. This complex is very large, rating two separate tram stations and numerous sub-divisions. The Medical Deck also seems to be the Ishimura's center for non-agricultural and non-mining related studies, even those studies which are tangentially connected to medicine (biological research) or not connected at all (research on the Marker.)
The Medical Deck is a sprawling location encompassing numerous laboratories, office spaces, storage spaces, and centers for medical diagnosis and treatment. It has two tram stations, one of which opens directly onto Cryo and one of which opens onto a large hub/security checkpoint, and when Isaac Clarke arrives, is one of the goriest and ominously uninviting locations on the Ishimura.
The Medical Deck is unique in that it has two separate tram stations. Given that on a mining vessel, very severe traumatic injuries could occur very suddenly, it is possible that trams are used for medical evacuation. If the trauma is severe enough, it might be preferable for an injured crewman to be rushed into cryo-freeze for later surgery once the Ishimura's medical team has had a chance to study his or her injuries and develop a precise plan of action. Hence, a direct link to the Cryo lab is not remotely unreasonable.
The main tram station, of course, is like all others on the ship: it has a sheltered waiting space, encased in glass and furnished with seats, presumably for those who are departing the Medical Decks to wait in for their tram to arrive. There is a vending machine full of refreshments, and a Store.
The Ishimura's medical decks are very sprawling; to facilitate ease of access, the level's Security Station provides access to the many discrete locations for one visiting the Medical Decks. During normal operations security personnel are stationed here; such personnel are likely given at least rudimentary training in routing incoming patients to the correct areas of Medical Deck: sending those with emergency injuries to the E.R., those who need to visit the main labs for diagnostic work done to the Main Labs, and so forth and so on.
The Security Station contains a Store, a Save Station, and a security kiosk with a console capable of overriding remote hackers and restoring environmental control throughout the deck. It also has seats (presumably for waiting).
Access to the Ishimura Clinic was blocked off by a large barricade. It was built by Gabe Weller, McNeill and a few other officers after they fled from the clinic to prevent Necromorphs from getting to the Security Station as the door was jammed. When Isaac had to get into the Clinic to retrieve the Captain's RIG, he built a makshift bomb to destroy it and get through it.
The Ishimura Clinic is the catchall phrase for the general medical and surgical suite aboard the USG Ishimura. The Clinic is an obviously well-equipped and well-staffed medical facility, which seems to be used for both general practice and emergency room activities.
Immediately adjacent to the Main Hub, the Waiting Room is a fairly small area with a vending machine and a plethora of seats. There are glass windows looking into administrative space which is directly connected to the E.R. ward without doors; spaces which would normally be staffed with medical personnel directing patients to wait or enter. There is a notable lack of a location to perform emergency triage.
The large E.R. ward has many beds, which are provided with ceiling-mounted bio-sensors and diagnostic tools. It contains Oxygen refill stations which presumably are normally configured to distribute pure Oxygen to patients with breathing difficulties, and plentiful medical supplies. Some beds line the walls with privacy screens surrounding them, whilst others stand with their head to a pillar, configured so that many attending personnel can cluster around a patient.
ER Hallway A & B, are large hallways connecting the E.R. with the I.C.U. They are lined with beds divided by curtains and lined with medical equipment and hook-ups. ER Hallway A contains Patient Beds 1 to 6, while ER Hallway B contains patient beds 7 to 12. This section seems to be a rest area for patients who do not require intensive nor emergency care but must remain hospitalized. It contains an Oxygen refill station at the far end, presumably a distribution hook-up for providing pure Oxygen to patients requiring assistance breathing, and a medical supplies room which is locked and requires a Power Node override to gain entry. The Hallways connects to the Emergency Room and the ICU.
Intensive Care UnitEdit
The Ishimura's I.C.U. consists of four medical units enclosed by armored security glass which Isaac is unable to rupture. Three of these medical units are fully-sealed, upright cylinders which appear capable of being filled with liquid. The fourth enclosure is not entirely sealed, and appears to be a surgical suite - it contains a medical bed, and is larger than the tanks, containing space for attending medical personnel to stand around the patient. The I.C.U. has elevator access to the Morgue, and also contains Dr. Challus Mercer's office.
By the time Isaac arrives, one of the four cylindrical enclosures has been violently shattered by massive physical assault from the outside, and one has a human infant laying, presumably dead, upon the bench. The cylinder closet to the door Isaac comes in through has a pile of flesh and organs laying inside, both on the floor of it and partially splattered on the walls. The surgical suite has a conscious patient laying upon the bed, and a living nurse laughing uncontrollably as she is sawing up his organs. She slashes her own throat after Isaac has observed her for a few seconds.
The office of Dr. Challus Mercer is located on the I.C.U., indicating that he was a medical doctor, a physician of some renown before he went insane and began murdering the crew in an attempt to create unstoppable Necromorph variations. When Isaac Clarke first arrives, the room has been decorated with Unitologist symbols, the walls are scrawled with Unitologist script and the ceiling has had red hangings hung from it not unlike the main lounge of the Crew Deck which has been turned into a Unitology Chapel. The shelves are full of disembodied human heads, some in jars and some hanging free. Presumably, Dr. Mercer neither decorated his office like this nor did he keep a large supply of dismembered human heads in his office until after the ship fell into chaos.
Dr. Mercer's office contains a laboratory table within which he has stored samples of Necromorph flesh. Isaac Clarke must retrieve this sample in order to poison the Leviathan.
The USG Ishimura has a large morgue, clearly with a capacity of dozens of bodies, if not hundreds. Such a capacity can easily be understood by reasoning that the Ishimura is expected to transport any mining-colony fatalities (and of course deaths-aboard-ship) back into settled space for disposal according to the wishes of the deceased, such as by cremation, burial in the ground, or rendering to the Church of Unitology for preservation in cryogenic stasis. It also contains a glass-walled examination room for the autopsy of deceased personnel.
Isaac Clarke visits the Morgue because he needs to acquire the RIG of Captain Benjamin Matthius, who was deceased before the Kellion's landing and was transported to the Morgue for autopsy. The Morgue was one of the first locations the Necromorph infestation spread from, yet there were still untouched bodies (including that of Captain Matthius) waiting for an Infector to get to. Isaac must battle the Captain's reanimated remains in the form of an Enhanced Slasher to retrieve the Captain's RIG, at the same time as he must fend off the Infector which turned the Captain - a difficult proposal if the other remains in the Morgue have not been dismembered.
The Research Wing of the Ishimura is a relatively compact section of the Medical Decks, compared to the other wings and wards. It is presumably the location where most of the research aboard the Ishimura is done, though it also houses the BPC, which presumably amputation patients will need to visit in order to be made whole.
The sprawling Main Lab of the Research Wing is a large room, spread over two floors vertically. Most activity seems to occur on the second floor, as most of the first floor consists of a catwalk around the perimeter of the second floor with only elevator access; both an elevator on the catwalk's edge and the elevator access through the Biological Prosthetics Center. The Main Lab has two doors which open onto spaces labeled as the Biological Laboratory; these discrete rooms (which are not differentiated) are linked to one another by the Biological Prosthetics Center.
The Main Lab also opens onto a room which is presumably Dr. Kyne's office, a second person's office, and it has a back hallway containing a storeroom and a bathroom.
Dr. Kyne's OfficeEdit
Although not explicitly labeled as the office of Dr. Terrence Kyne, Isaac Clarke finds this room accessible from the Main Lab, containing a video-log of a conversation between the Doctor and the Captain. There is a hidden room in the back, accessible by moving a book-shelf with Kinesis, containing some useful items, another log, and a Unitologist statue of the Black Marker.
Two doors in the Main Lab open into rooms marked as the Bio Lab; the two rooms are on different floors of the Main Lab, and they do not connect directly to one another. One of the rooms seems to be an office, while the other is an exam room of some sort. They connect to each other through the Biological Prosthetics Center, which is only accessible through the Bio Lab rooms off the Main Lab.
When Isaac Clarke first enters the Bio Lab, only the door on the bottom floor of the Main Lab is accessible; he must enter it, traverse through the BPC, and enter the room on the top floor of the Main Lab in order to retrieve a canister of Thermite.
Biological Prosthetics CenterEdit
The Ishimura's BPC is a location on the vessel where crew members having suffered amputating injuries may come to have a biological prosthetic grafted on. These sorts of injuries seem to be frighteningly common aboard the Ishimura given the size of the BPC. The biological prosthetics are apparently created by means of cloning the individual, rapidly aging the clone to adulthood and then harvesting the prosthetic limb or organ from the clone; no mention of how infant clones are grown to adult size in anything resembling a speedy manner. Presumably the clones are created with no higher brain functions.
The BPC contains racks upon racks of infant clones suspended in green liquid; presumably this explains where some (if not most) of the Lurker Necromorphs aboard the Ishimura come from. As there are no clones apparently in any state of growth between infant and adulthood, it seems possible that infant clones are made and then kept waiting until the rapid aging process is necessary; although it could simply be that many of the clones were created early on in the chaos spreading through the Ishimura, before anyone realized what was causing amputation injuries.
Imaging Diagnostics WardEdit
The Imaging Diagnostics Ward, accessible via hallway from the Main Hub of the Medical Deck, is presumably where X-Ray, Magnetic Resonance, and/or other more advanced forms of medical imaging take place. It also contains the Chemical Research Lab, an unmarked examination room, and Zero-G therapy, despite the fact that the Chem Lab would seemingly be a better fit in the Research Wing, and Zero-G Therapy would be a better fit in the Clinic. Presumably they were allocated to the Imaging Diagnostics Ward for gameplay reasons, though it can be rationalized in-universe as the lab space and Zero-G therapy not having been originally planned, and having been installed later on in the ship's life-cycle, and simply had to be placed wherever there was room, no matter how illogical or inconvenient it made the access.
Imaging Diagnostics RoomEdit
The crux of the Imaging Diagnostics Ward, the Imaging Diagnostics Room is a large space with a locked room which is apparently a hybrid of medical storage and examination room, a secondary exam room, and is the access to the Chemical Research Lab, Cryo Lab, and Zero-G Therapy. It contains a Bench, and a large horizontal cylinder on a Kinesis rack, which may be moved back and forth into one of what seems to be two different imaging machines, and also seems to be able to move the patient cylinder directly into Zero-G Therapy through means of a transfer port accessed through one of the diagnostic machines. The Imaging Diagnostics Room has an elevator access to the abbreviated second floor, which has a very inconvenient access to the Zero-G Therapy ward, requiring those wishing to enter to use a Kinesis module to move the diagnostic chassis into place to act as a floor, not once but twice.
The diagnostic chassis armature is capable of moving under its own power, without need for a Kinesis Module, as demonstrated later when it is doing just that; moving rapidly underneath arcs of electricity. Isaac needs to use Stasis to slow the platform down in order to traverse to the Chemical Research Lab.
The Zero-G Therapy ward, accessed through the Imaging Diagnostics Lab, consists of a hallway which access both Cryo Lab and the Chemical Research Lab, opening into another hallway (Located on the outer hull) containing interconnected medical storage rooms and finally the Zero-G Therapy room itself, a vast, cylindrical chamber in which gravity may be switched on and off. A small storage room on the far side of Zero-G Therapy contains medical supplies, including the Shock Pad which Isaac Clarke needs to retrieve in order to build a bomb.
Chemical Research LabEdit
The Chemical Research Lab is a small room located off the Zero-G Therapy hallway, on a corner. It has doors into both corridors, and the corridor wall closest to the Cryo-Lab is equipped with armored windows. The Chemical Research Laboratory contains many hazardous chemical and biological materials, some which, when combined with a Necromorph tissue sample, can be used against Necromorphs such as the Leviathan.
The Chemical Research Lab also has two squared flotation tanks for human occupancy; when Isaac Clarke first enters the lab, one of these tanks contains a human corpse, the other contains the Hunter in a dormant state. The Hunter does not break free until it is aroused by Dr. Challus Mercer, who puts it into a state of dormancy and rouses it through unknown means.
The Cryogenics Lab is located away from most of the Medical Deck. The only foot access is via a complicated and inconvenient route through the Imaging Diagnostics Ward; however, it has its own Tram hook-up. The Cryogenics Laboratory itself is capable of flash-freezing biological organisms into cylinders of ice; presumably in medical use, this is for the purpose of immediately stabilizing critically-wounded trauma patients, placing them in suspended animation such that physicians can study them (presumably in the Imaging Diagnostics Room) and determine a plan for treatment.
When Isaac Clarke first arrives, Dr. Challus Mercer taunts Isaac from behind locked doors in the control booth. Mercer sets the Hunter upon Isaac and leaves quickly via the secondary Tram station, and Isaac freezes the Hunter in cryogenic suspension. The room contains many Necromorphs already frozen by Mercer for transportation to other planets.
- This is where Chapter 2: Intensive Care and Chapter 5: Lethal Devotion of Dead Space take place.
- This is one of the decks where Chapter 10: Déjà Vu on the Ishimura of Dead Space 2 takes place.
- This is the deck where Nicole Brennan commits suicide and records her last log. The exact room where she kills herself can be accessed in Dead Space but not in Dead Space 2 as many rooms of the Medical Deck are locked.
- The second Tram Station can be explained as not wanting to make the player backtrack through a very large level, and thematically the plot has been stressing the urgency of hurrying on to Chapter 6: Environmental Hazard in order to undo the poisoning of the air; a flow-breaking backtrack would be unwelcome.
- The ICU enclosures are a possible homage to the Bacta Tank of Star Wars, which was itself patterned after a real medical tank.
- One of the ICU enclosures contained the corpse of a male medical staffer on a medical bed with a female nurse laughing over it; the living nurse committed suicide with a bone saw when Isaac approached, in Chapter 2. When Isaac returned in Chapter 5, both the nurse and her patient's corpse were where Isaac had left them, untouched; this seems to suggest that the ICU enclosures are armored heavily enough that common Necromorphs cannot breach them, and possibly contain active anti-bacterial functions which might prevent the bacterial vector for Necromorph infection. (This would also explain that the infant's body has not become a Lurker.)
- It is possible for Isaac to lob Force Gun grenades into the ICU surgical enclosure. If he does so during Chapter 2, the nurse and her corpse will have been made whole again due to Dead Space not saving the status of corpses.
- When Isaac travels through the Medical Decks again in Chapter 5, a badly-wounded female nurse is sobbing over the corpse of one of her female colleagues at the far end of the Wards bay, near the Oxygen refill hook-up. How she managed to arrive there in a deck full of Necromorphs and an obvious insanity is unclear; she does not respond to Isaac in any way, and Isaac is unable to put her out of her misery, even by use of Force grenades or Line Gun mines. While her canonical death presumably occurs when Challus Mercer sucks the atmosphere out of the deck, if Isaac rushes quickly after retrieving the sample, he can get to where she is and find her dead before Mercer disables the atmosphere.
- In truth, her death is triggered when Isaac adds Sample 9797 to the chemical mixture he retrieved from the Chemlab. Add the sample, leave it in the mixing desk and run back out to the ward to find that she has mysteriously dropped dead, with no signs of (additional) violence upon her person. Possibly she simply succumbed to her already-existing injuries.
- Curiously the nurse's RIG reads zero prior to Mercer's removal of life support, suggesting that the nurse could be a hallucination. This is supported by an often overlooked detail: the body the nurse is crying over is identical to her own.
- The Morgue provides the first glimpse of the horrific process by which corpses are transformed into Necromorphs.