A mobile device reducing airborne particulate can improve air quality

Messina G., et al. Presented at EUPHA 2019


Surgical site infections are the second major cause of hospital acquired infections, accounting for a large part of overall annual medical costs. Airborne particulate is known to be a potential carrier of pathogenic bacteria. We assessed a mobile air particle filter unit for improvement of air quality in an operating room (OR). A new mobile air decontamination and recirculation unit, equipped with a crystalline ultraviolet C (Illuvia® 500 UV) reactor and a HEPA filter, was tested in an OR. Airborne particulate was monitored in four consecutive phases: I) device OFF and OR at rest; II) device OFF and OR in operation; III) device ON and OR in operation; IV) device OFF and OR in operation. We used a particle counter to measure airborne particles of different sizes: ≥0.3, ≥0.5, ≥1, ≥3, ≥5, >10 µm. Activation of the device (phases III) produced a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in airborne particulate of all sizes. Switching the device OFF (phase IV) led to a statistically significant increase (p < 0.05) in the number of particles of most sizes: ≥0.3, ≥0.5, ≥1, ≥3 µm. The device significantly reduced airborne particulate in the OR, improving air quality and possibly lowering the probability of surgical site infections.

A Key Finding:

When the system was turned off intraoperatively, contamination rapidly increased.

A mobile device reducing airborne particulate can improve air quality