Some 700,000 cases of surgical site infections occur each year, leading to time away from work, degraded life style, suffering, and in some cases, death. New research funded by ASHRAE is expected to decrease patient exposure to particles that cause these infections by enhancing design guidelines for hospital operating rooms.
ASHRAE recently released nine projects for bid, including 1397-TRP,
Experimental Investigation of Hospital Operating Room (OR) Air Distribution.
The research is expected to verify earlier analysis that a protective
thermal plume maintained above the surgical site will reduce the deposition of
infectious particles, according to Robert Cox, a member of ASHRAE’s technical
committee, 9.6, on health care facilities, which is sponsoring the project.
“These results will have significant impact on practical operating room
design guidelines, allowing designers to better place air distribution in the
operating room to maximize the HVAC system's impact on preventing spread of
infection and to perhaps reduce overall airflow rates in the operating room,”
Results also could be used to improve air distribution engineering
elsewhere in health care, such as patient protection rooms and infection
isolation rooms, and in similar applications, such as industrial clean rooms.
For more information on submitting a project bid, and other projects
currently open for bid, visit www.ashrae.org/research.
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