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

Luke D. Knibbs , Lidia Morawska , Scott C. Bell , Piotr Grzybowski


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.
Author Luke D. Knibbs - [Queensland University of Technology QUT]
Luke D. Knibbs,,
, Lidia Morawska - [Queensland University of Technology QUT]
Lidia Morawska,,
, Scott C. Bell - [University of Queensland]
Scott C. Bell,,
, Piotr Grzybowski (FCPE / CIPE)
Piotr Grzybowski,,
- Chair of Integrated Process Engineering
Journal seriesAmerican Journal of Infection Control, ISSN 0196-6553, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2011
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishair exchange, Infection control, influenza, rhinovirus, tuberculosis
ASJC Classification2725 Infectious Diseases; 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; 2719 Health Policy; 2713 Epidemiology
Languageen angielski
Knibbs L.D. (i in.) - Room ventilation and....pdf 250.88 KB
Score (nominal)30
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 23; Scopus Citations = 24; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2011 = 1.876; WoS Impact Factor: 2011 = 2.396 (2) - 2011=3.063 (5)
Citation count*19 (2016-05-30)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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