Comfort evaluation of a dynamic protective airflow system using human test subjects
Keywords:HCW, HAI, Infection, Ventilation, Protective airflow, Exposure
Amount of sick leave days among nurses is in relatively high level compared to many other occupations. One of the risk factors for nurses at work are respiratory infections.
According to recent studies, there is a high risk for nurses to be exposed to microbes exhaled by patients especially, while they are conducting their work close to patient.
Current ventilation solutions that are used in patient environments are not designed to address this challenge. At best, they are able to dilute the microbial concentrations in the room, but they are not able to affect the nurse’s exposure to patients’ outbreath close to patients. These may lead to substantially higher exposure levels compared to room air conditions.
To reduce HCW’s and especially nurses’ exposure and infection risk, a new dynamic protective flow ventilation approach has been developed for patient environments (isolation rooms, intensive care and standard patient rooms). In previous studies, the efficiency of protective flow ventilation as well as thermal comfort has been verified by using breathing thermal manikin and tracer gas experiments.
In this laboratory study done in a simulated patient room, the thermal comfort provided by the protective ventilation solution is studied with human subject experiments. The participants are exposed to indoor environment, both in stable conditions and in a dynamic situation in which patient / nurse interaction is simulated. The thermal comfort is evaluated primarily by questionnaires, which the subjects will complete in different stages of the experiment. Physical measurements are conducted in parallel.
The presentation will outline previous development stages and will especially focus on presenting the results of human subject experiment.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Kim Hagström, Ismo Grönvall, Petri Kalliomäki, Henna Maula, Arttu Sivula
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.