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Hospitals and Clinics
IQAir stand-alone air cleaner found to cut hospital aspergillosis infections by more than 50%
In a study conducted at Singapore General Hospital, the use of an IQAir stand-alone air purifier with HyperHEPA® air filtration dramatically reduced the spread of invasive aspergillosis (IA).
IA is an often-fatal fungal infection threatening those with severely compromised immune systems including organ-transplant patients as well as those with various blood diseases and other patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Major outbreaks of the disease at hospitals have been associated with construction, renovation, and maintenance activities that cause the fungus spores to become airborne. The rapidly progressing infection has a mortality rate of up to 95%
The study, published in 2010 in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined the effects of 48 IQAir HealthPro® air purifiers that were placed in selected wards at the hospital. All patients likely to develop IA were included in the study over a three-year period. The study, titled, "The impact of portable high-efficiency particulate air filters on the incidence of invasive aspergillosis in a large acute tertiary-care hospital," was led by Dr. Zakir-Hussain Abdul Salam. The researchers found that the IQAir portable air purifiers reduced IA infections overall by more than 50%. The authors concluded that the cost of the air filtration systems was more than offset by the "significant decreases in the rates of nosocomial infections in general and IA in particular." View the study here.
Cleanroom H13™ reduces risk of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination
An IQAir Cleanroom H13™ air purifier can significantly reduce MRSA contamination in patient isolation rooms, according to a study conducted by the Department of Biology at Nottingham City Hospital (U.K.). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial infection that is highly resistant to antibiotics and thus difficult to treat. Hospitals, nursing homes, gyms, and even pediatric nurseries are at elevated risk of the spread of MRSA infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control, MRSA in healthcare settings typically causes severe and life-threatening infections, including bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and even pneumonia. Outside of hospitals and other healthcare settings the condition often appears as a skin infection.
In the Nottingham City Hospital study, the researchers measured surface contamination in rooms without air filtration in comparison to rooms with the IQAir Cleanroom H13 operating at various airflow rates. A strong association was noted between air filtration rates and the mean number of MRSA "colony-forming units" on surfaces in the room. The study concluded: "Placing IQAir portable HEPA-filtration units within MRSA isolation rooms can significantly reduce the contamination of environmental surfaces with MRSA. "The study was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection and is available online at http://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553%2809%2900946-8/abstract.
Improvement of air quality in health-care settings
The improvement of air quality in hospitals, clinics and other health-care settings is a vital constituent of modern airborne hygiene procedures. It is also of importance with regard to occupational health and safety requirements in medical institutions. Air cleaning provides a healthier and more pleasant environment for patients, staff and visitors. It also makes economic sense due to its relevance as a preventative infection control measure.
Air filtration requirements vary by department
The air quality requirements in health-care settings vary from department to department and often even from room to room. Some areas will require high-efficiency filtration of airborne microorganisms to protect patients, staff and visitors (e.g. in operation suites, Intensive Care Units (ICU), Tuberculosis (TB) isolation rooms), whereas other areas require the filtration of gaseous contaminants, chemicals and odors to provide a safer and more pleasant working environment (e.g., in laboratories, autopsy rooms, dental surgery rooms, pharmacies).
The control of airborne microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, fungal spores) is of major importance in medical settings due to the fact that a number of diseases and infections can be transmitted by airborne pathogens.
Infections are a concern
Of particular concern are nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections. They can have serious consequences in terms of increased patient mortality, morbidity, length of hospital stay and overall costs. Immunocompromised patients (such as organ and bone-marrow transplant recipients, oncology and hematology patients) are especially at risk as their immune systems are more vulnerable to infectious pathogens, such as aspergillus. The "Independent Study" box on the right contains information on peer-reviewed studies of IQAir’s effectiveness as an infection-control measure.
IQAir also offers environmental control of chemical compounds and odors through filtration of ambient air, creation of pressure differentials (containment of chemical compounds and unpleasant odors through negative pressure areas) and through source capture (capture and filtration of chemical compounds and unpleasant odors at their source).
Health-Care Applications of IQAir® Systems
Thanks to their decentralized nature, patented modular design and unique adaptability, IQAir systems cover a broad spectrum of applications in health-care facilities.
- Ante rooms
- Bone marrow transplant units
- Burn units
- Computer and data storage areas
- Critical-care facilities
- Dental areas
- Emergency rooms
- Filtered fresh air ventilation
- General air cleansing
- Geriatric and elderly care units
- Laser surgery fume and odor control
- Microbiology labs
- Neonatal intensive care units
- Odor sensitive areas
- Oncology wards
- Operation theaters
- Organ transplant wards
- Pathology theaters
- Pediatric isolation rooms
- Respiratory sensitivities and dusty areas
- Smoking areas
- TB-isolation wards and ante rooms
- Toilet facilities
IQAir systems can be used in a number of ways to help provide the most appropriate air cleaning solution for the specific application at hand:
Filtration by recirculation: Repeatedly drawing ambient room air through a floor or wall-mounted IQAir system, thus removing airborne microorganisms with each passing of the air through the filters.
Creating pressure differences: The strategy of recirculating room air through a high-efficiency filter can be further enhanced by creating positive or negative pressure differences between spaces – for example, preventing airflow from a contaminated space to a non-contaminated space.
Positive pressure: In the case of immunocompromised individuals, the patient should be placed in a room with a higher (i.e., positive) air pressure, thus limiting the flow of contaminated air into the patient's room.
Negative pressure: On the other hand, when a patient carries a contagious disease that may be transmitted through the air, such as M. tuberculosis, the opposite strategy (i.e., negative pressure) should be adopted to prevent contaminants from spreading beyond the patient's room. With the help of special ducting adapters (InFlow™, OutFlow™), any IQAir system can be transformed to create positive- or negative-pressure environments. As a result, a room can be pressurized or depressurized within minutes, helping to control the spread of airborne pathogens.
Source capture: It is the purpose of IQAir source capture devices (FlexVac™ and VM FlexVac™) to filter contaminants at their point of origin, thus capturing the pollutants before they are able to disperse into the ambient room air.