The improvement of air quality in health-care settings is a vital constituent of modern airborne hygiene procedures. It is also of importance with regard to occupational health & safety requirements in medical institutions. But, improved air quality not only helps to provide a healthier and more pleasant environment for patients, staff and visitors, it also makes economic sense due to its relevance as a preventative infection control measure.
AIR QUALITY REQUIREMENTS
The air quality requirements in health-care settings vary from department to department and often even from room to room. Some areas will require high-efficiency filtration of airborne micro-organisms to protect patients, staff and visitors (e.g. in operation suites, ICUs, TB isolation rooms), whereas other areas require the filtration of gaseous contaminants, chemicals and odors to provide a safer and more pleasant working environment (e.g. in laboratories, autopsy rooms, dental surgeries and pharmacies).
Control of airborne micro-organisms (airborne infection control)
The control of airborne micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungal spores) is of major importance in medical settings due to the fact that a great number of diseases and infections are caused by airborne pathogens and are transmitted via the air.
Hospital acquired infections
Of particular concern are nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections. They can have serious consequences in terms of increased patient mortality, morbidity, length of hospital stay and overall costs. Especially immuno-compromised patients (such as organ & bone-marrow transplant recipients, oncology and hematology patients) are at risk as their immune systems are more vulnerable to infectious pathogens such as aspergillus.
Recommended IQAir Systems
The CDC recommend that only HEPA filters that have "a demonstrated and documented minimum removal efficiency of 99.97% of particles = 0.3 ?? in diameter", should be used for infection control purposes6.
Out of the IQAir range of the following models and accessories are recommended for airborne infection control in health-care environments:
Air Cleaning Systems:
Accessories for positive/negative pressure ducting:
Control of chemical compound & odors
By Filtration of ambient air
By creation of pressure differentials
Containment of chemical compounds & unpleasant odors (negative pressure areas)
By source capture
Filtration of chemical compounds & unpleasant odors at their source
HEALTH-CARE APPLICATIONS OF IQAIR SYSTEMS
Thanks to their decentralized nature, patented modular design and unique adaptability, IQAir systems cover a broad spectrum of applications in health-care facilities.
? Ante rooms
? Bone marrow transplant units
? Burn units
? Computer and data storage areas
? Critical-care facilities
? Dental areas
? Emergency rooms
? Filtered fresh air ventilation
? General air cleansing
? Geriatric and elderly care units
? Laser surgery fume and odour control
? Microbiology labs
? Neonatal intensive care units
? Odour sensitive areas
? Oncology wards
? Operation theatres
? Organ transplant wards
? Pathology theatres
? Pediatric isolation rooms
? Respiratory sensitivities and dusty areas
? Smoking areas
? TB-isolation wards and ante rooms
? Toilet facilities
ADVANCED ENGINEERING TECHNIQUES
IQAir systems can be used in a number of different ways to help provide the most appropriate air cleaning solution for the specific application at hand:
Filtration by recirculation
Repeatedly drawing ambient room air through a floor or wall mounted IQAir system thus removing airborne micro-organisms with each passing of the air through the filters.
Creating Pressure Differences
The strategy of recirculating room air through a high-efficiency filter can be further enhanced by creating and maintaining positive or negative pressure differences between adjacent spaces and the patient's room, preventing airflow from a contaminated space to a non-contaminated space.
In the case of immunocompromised individuals, the patient should be placed in a room with a higher (i.e. positive) air pressure, thus limiting the flow of contaminated air into the patient's room.
On the other hand, when a patient carries a contagious disease that may be transmitted through the air, such as M. tuberculosis, the opposite strategy (i.e. negative pressure), should be adopted to prevent contaminants from spreading beyond the patient's room.
With the help of special ducting adaptors (, , any IQAir system can be transformed to create positive or negative pressure environments. As a result, a room can be pressurized or depressurized within minutes helping to control the spread of airborne pathogens.
It is the purpose of IQAir source capture devices (IQAir Cleanroom, and VM FlexVac) to filter contaminants at their point of origin, thus capturing the pollutants before they are dispersed into the ambient room air.
SPECIAL FEATURES THAT MAKE IQAIR THE PREFERRED FILTRATION SOLUTION
Individually Tested and Certified
To guarantee particulate filtration efficiency and air delivery, IQAir has taken an uncompromising approach: Each IQAir device is individually tested and certified to achieve or exceed the specifications stated in our product literature. For the IQAir Cleanroom H13, for example, that means a guaranteed filtration efficiency of 99.97% for particles = 0.3 ?? and a certified maximum air delivery of at least 280 cfm per hour.
Integrated Microchip Calculates when its Time to Change Filters
With regard to maintenance and filter change, the IQAir Series offers several advanced features. Every model is equipped with its very own microchip-controlled filter life monitor. This monitor counts down the life of each individual filter element, taking air pollution load, actual usage and fan speed into account. When a filter element reaches the end of its useful life, an LED indicator will light up on the IQAir's control panel, informing the staff that it's time to change filters.
Quick and Safe Filter Replacement
One of the most attractive features of IQAir systems is the ease with which filters can be replaced. No matter whether the system is wall-mounted or floor-based, the patented modular system allows quick and safe access to all filter elements without the need for tools. In practice this means that the "down-time" of the filtration system, and consequently the build-up of pathogens in the room, are kept to an absolute minimum.
Flexibility through Mobility
Since IQAir systems work independently and decentralized, each system's air delivery can be adjusted to suit the requirements of the room where it is located. The portable nature of the devices also allows for quick relocation or supplementary IQAir systems to be added if needed.
High-Performance Needn't Mean Expensive
In spite of the array of advanced features, certified filtration efficiency and the build-quality of IQAir, the cost of the systems is well below that of centralized air cleaning systems for health-care facilities. As a result, IQAir systems enable health-care facilities to add to, or extend airborne hygiene measures to areas and patients which so far were not within the scope of an advanced airborne infection control strategy.
Point of Use
The decentralized nature of IQAir systems means that no costly and extensive planning or building works have to be undertaken to install the systems. Even the positive and negative pressure ducting adaptors ( are installed in a matter of minutes rather than a matter of days, weeks or months. This guarantees minimal disruption to the daily hospital routine.