Room ventilation and the risk of airborne infection transmission in 3 health care settings within a large teaching hospital

Knibbs, Luke D., Morawska, Lidia, Bell, Scott C. and Grzybowski, Piotr (2011) Room ventilation and the risk of airborne infection transmission in 3 health care settings within a large teaching hospital. American Journal of Infection Control, 39 10: 866-872. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2011.02.014


Author Knibbs, Luke D.
Morawska, Lidia
Bell, Scott C.
Grzybowski, Piotr
Title Room ventilation and the risk of airborne infection transmission in 3 health care settings within a large teaching hospital
Journal name American Journal of Infection Control   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0196-6553
1527-3296
Publication date 2011-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.02.014
Volume 39
Issue 10
Start page 866
End page 872
Total pages 7
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, Australia
Publisher Mosby
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background

Room ventilation is a key determinant of airborne disease transmission. Despite this, ventilation guidelines in hospitals are not founded on robust scientific evidence related to the prevention of airborne transmission.

Methods

We sought to assess the effect of ventilation rates on influenza, tuberculosis, and rhinovirus infection risk within 3 distinct rooms in a major urban hospital: a lung function laboratory, an emergency department negative-pressure isolation room, and an outpatient consultation room. Air-exchange rate measurements were performed in each room using CO2 as a tracer. The model developed by Gammaitoni and Nucci was used to estimate infection risk.

Results


Current outdoor air-exchange rates in the lung function laboratory and emergency department isolation room limited infection risks to 0.1%-3.6%. Influenza risk for individuals entering an outpatient consultation room after an infectious individual departed ranged from 3.6% to 20.7%, depending on the duration for which each person occupied the room.

Conclusion


Given the absence of definitive ventilation guidelines for hospitals, air-exchange measurements combined with modeling afford a useful means of assessing, on a case-by-case basis, the suitability of room ventilation for preventing airborne disease transmission.
Keyword Infection control
Air exchange
Influenza
Tuberculosis
Rhinovirus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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