01/04/2013 Environmental Science
DOI: 10.1177/1420326X11428088 SemanticScholar ID: 55403318 MAG: 2094788336

The Role of Nursing Activities on the Bioaerosol Production in Hospital Wards

Publication Summary

Transport of infectious particles through the air has the potential to contaminate the indoor environment creating reservoirs of infectious material on surfaces. There is evidence that typical nursing activities can release large quantities of bacteria including MRSA into the hospital air, which may lead to surface contamination thereby increasing opportunities for further spread. Air sampling studies were conducted over a period of 5 days on a four-bed bay in a respiratory ward. Results showed that sampled bioaerosols are more likely to be carried on large particles >5 µm in diameter, and that the relationship between bioaerosols and particle size varies when respiratory interventions are in use. Increased activity in the hospital bay was shown to correlate to increased concentrations of bioaerosols whereas sedentary visitors did not. In particular, the occurrence of patient washing that occurred behind closed curtains correlated to large values of bioaerosol release. Floor cleaning generated large number of particles, but with no significant increase in sampled bioaerosols. This provides valuable information for understanding when and where bioaerosols are released on a hospital ward which may inform future research into physical segregation of patients and the definition of bioaerosol sources in computer simulations.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Catherine Noakes

Prof. Catherine Noakes

University of Leeds - Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings

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