Using Advanced Air Purification Technology in a Healthcare Facility

Summary of the effects of using advanced air purification technology (AAPT/UVGI) on post-surgery outcomes in a healthcare facility

The impact of comprehensive air purification on patient duration of stay, discharge outcomes, and health care economics: A retrospective cohort study1.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Environmental metrics associated with ambient air and surface purity. Study results by Stawicki et al.2 for St. Luke’s University Health Network (Bethlehem, PA). Three “zones” of the same healthcare facility were delimited and evaluated; Zone C is the control floor, which is equipped with hospital standard ventilation and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. Zone B is also equipped with standard hospital ventilation and HEPA filtration, but also receives return air from Zone A upon recirculation. Zone A is equipped with ventilation, HEPA filtration and an advanced air purification technology (AAPT), which consists of UV germicidal systems (UVGI) from LifeAire™. This figure shows the results of environmental (air and surface) sampling in different zones (A-B-C) of the hospital. Staffing and standard operating procedures (SOP) were similar for all 3 zones.

 

Figure 2

Figure 2. Discharge destination of hospital patients post-surgery. Non-bariatric surgical inpatients admitted to the St. Luke’s University Health Network (Bethlehem, PA), with a case mix index (CMI) included in their medical record, were evaluated according to the zones they were admitted to (N = 1002 patients). Zones are as described previously; Zone A is fitted with AAPT/UVGI systems, along with HEPA filtration, Zone B is fitted with HEPA and return air from Zone A, and Zone C is fitted only with HEPA filtration. Patient populations in different zones were well balanced, with no noticeable differences in distribution.

 

Figure 3

Figure 3. Patient metrics and outcomes by study zone. Inpatients from zones A, B and C, (St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA) were compared for their hospital length-of-stay (HLOS) and hospital charges (HC). Data was provided by the hospital and analyzed by an independent third-party epidemiologist. Data is presented as a normalized ratio of control zone (Zone C) .

 


 

1 Stawicki SP, Wolfe S, Brisendine C, Eid S, Zangari M, Ford F, Snyder B, Moyer W, Levicoff L, Burfeind WR. The impact of comprehensive air purification on patient duration of stay, discharge outcomes, and health care economics: A retrospective cohort study. Surgery. 2020 Nov;168(5):968-974. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2020.07.021. Epub 2020 Sep 2. PMID: 32888714.

2 Stanislaw P. Stawicki, Chad Brisendine, Lee Levicoff, Frank Ford, Beverly Snyder, Sherrine Eid and Kathryn C. Worrilow (March 20th 2019). Comprehensive and Live Air Purification as a Key Environmental, Clinical, and Patient Safety Factor: A Prospective Evaluation, Vignettes in Patient Safety – Volume 4, Stanislaw P. Stawicki and Michael S. Firstenberg, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.84530. Available from: https://www.intechopen.com/books/vignettes-in-patient-safety-volume-4/comprehensive-and-live-air-purification-as-a-key-environmental-clinical-and-patient-safety-factor-a-

 


Understanding air filtration and UV disinfection in a medical environment

Health Europa reports on why UV purification is the most effective air disinfection method for medical, commercial and residential environments.

Evidence has accumulated over the years that following the standard guidelines and codes for designing healthcare facility ventilation systems is far from sufficient to ensure a sterile environment. Sterility is generally defined as 6 log (99.9999%) reduction of a population of microorganisms. This means that as little as one microorganism in a million is expected to survive after disinfection.

Traditional air filtration with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or ultra-low penetration air (ULPA) filters have been widely adopted in the ventilation systems of hospitals, labs, and clinics, to control airborne pathogens. However, multiple studies have demonstrated that despite the use of such high-end filters, viral and bacterial airborne contamination are still ubiquitous in these ventilation systems. 

The most common explanation for underperforming filters often points to the filter rack seal joint’s bypass, filter puncture leakage, and poor general installation or maintenance. Although all these points remain valid and can always be improved, the physical cause is rooted in the fundamental fact that all filters show a significant drop in their capture efficiency for a certain range of particulate sizes – these can include both particles which are too small to be captured by interception and impaction and those which are too large to be removed via electrostatic and diffusion. This is simply a straightforward consequence of the fundamental principles of filtration physics. […]

Read more on Health Europe website.

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