We go to the hospital to heal and recover from medical conditions. We don’t go to catch new diseases and become sicker than before. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case, and when it happens it is referred to as a hospital acquired illness. On any given day, about 1 in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Contaminated air is one way infection can spread from patient to patient or from patient to staff in a healthcare facility. It can make sick patients sicker and can newly infect healthy staff members or visitors. The HVAC systems in hospitals are designed to keep fresh air flowing into rooms containing infected patients and prevent contaminated air from flowing out. However, when this airflow is not balanced correctly, disease can spread through the air.
Here are three of the biggest contaminants of hospital air.
- Patient-borne illnesses. One of the biggest causes of hospital-acquired infection is patient-borne illness. Tiny particles carrying bacteria and viruses can spread through the air from patient to patient if airflow is not filtered and balanced correctly.
- Cleaning chemicals. Fumes from harsh chemicals used to clean healthcare facilities can be irritating or damaging to the airways and lungs of sensitive patients.
- Outdoor air. Pollutants in outdoor air can be harmful when circulated through a hospital building without proper filtration. Two of the biggest culprits are vehicle exhaust and diesel fuel from generators.
Although healthcare facilities have certain air quality standards and requirements, many do not meet the standards to which they agree. This compromises the health of patients as well as staff and visitors.
To learn more about what Life Balance is doing to help hospitals meet these standards, check out our website.
Life Balance Technologies helps hospitals and other companies easily analyze air quality conditions and effectively manage their HVAC systems. By streamlining the process for compliance, auditing, and reporting, we help reduce costs and save lives.