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

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.
Author Luke D. Knibbs
Luke D. Knibbs,,
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, Lidia Morawska
Lidia Morawska,,
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, Scott C. Bell
Scott C. Bell,,
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, Piotr Grzybowski KIPZ
Piotr Grzybowski,,
- Chair of Integrated Process Engineering
Journal seriesAmerican Journal of Infection Control, ISSN 0196-6553
Issue year2011
Vol39
No10
Pages866-872
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishair exchange, Infection control, influenza, rhinovirus, tuberculosis
DOIDOI:10.1016/j.ajic.2011.02.014
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196655311001799
Languageen angielski
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Knibbs L.D. (i in.) - Room ventilation and....pdf 250.88 KB
Score (nominal)30
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2011 = 2.396 (2) - 2011=3.063 (5)
Citation count*19 (2016-05-30)
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