Each year in the United States, roughly 1.7 million people are effected by healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), resulting in an average of 99,000 deaths and $20 billion in hospital costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of the training for HAI prevention focuses on healthcare providers performing tasks in a sanitary way, however, the facility and its indoor air quality also play an important role.
Being in a hospital, as a patient or a visitor can present hidden risks, such as HAIs. Occupants are also exposed to airborne infectious diseases like tuberculosis (TB) when the air is not being correctly ventilated. Patients who are infected with airborne diseases are typically placed in isolated rooms under negative pressure in order to prevent contaminated air from spreading throughout the medical facility. Unfortunately, some people are diagnosed with these types of diseases after being in common areas.
Many hospitals are taking steps to design their facilities in attempt to minimize the risk of HAIs through the ventilation. For example, hospitals are utilizing displacement ventilation systems, where the HVAC system pushes air from inlet to outlet. This method limits the amount of air mixing throughout the facility. Hospitals are also installing HEPA filters. HEPA filters capture 99.99% of particles as small as 0.3 micrometers in diameter. TB measures 1-5 micrometers and other airborne illness contaminants are between 0.5-10 micrometers.
Regular maintenance of your healthcare facility’s HVAC systems can have a significantly positive impact on IAQ and reduce HAIs. Carolina Filters is the trusted vendor at many hospitals in North Carolina, South Carolina, and throughout the southeast. Contact us now to find out how your healthcare facility can benefit with an IAQ audit by Carolina Filters.