IAQ Technologies in HAI Risk Management
Emerging (IAQ) Indoor Air Quality technologies in the past decade or so reveal that health and hygiene related issues in and around closed environments are greatly influenced by poor air quality. Poor or inadequate ventilation and exposure to one or more sources of contaminants located inside and/or around buildings are often sources of IAQ implications. According to the World Health Organization, for every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, 7 are in developed countries, 10 are in developing countries and at least one will acquire a health care-associated infection. Inadequate environmental hygienic conditions and waste disposal is listed as one of the predominant factors for causing HAI (Healthcare-associated infections). Healthcare associated buildings pose a unique set of conditions related to indoor air quality technologies with specific maintenance and structural requirements needing to be met in order to provide a healthy occupancy. IAQ of these buildings is significantly important since the occupants with preexisting health problems and varying immunities are vulnerable to infections in comparison to other healthy individuals. Airborne microorganisms and particulates are a significant source of causing and spreading infections amongst occupants of such facilities. Sick patients, coughing, sneezing, talking, touching surfaces, contaminated hands and other body parts, improper disposal of biohazardous or bio-waste, contaminated water, structural conditions, etc. of buildings may be listed as sources of infection.
Recent developments in IAQ technologies are helpful in minimizing HAI, especially those caused by aerially transmitted entities. Periodical and routine maintenance of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and air-conveyance systems is effective not only in minimizing the risk of HAI infections, but also in identifying the environmental conditions that may also be responsible for the growth and dispersal of disease causing agents. Building health checks and diagnostic evaluations are important tools for assessing the overall quality of healthcare facilities for the adequate management of risks associated with HAI. Proactive and reactive environmental sampling with advanced IAQ technology is capable of identifying microbes and other particulates which may be linked to HAI.
Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab):
The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) (established in 1992) at Pure Air Control Services (PACS) is an environmental lab offering complete and comprehensive indoor environmental microbiology laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, chemistry, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. EDLab supports IAQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses.
For more information on EDLab at Pure Air Services, Inc. please contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay, CIAQP, FIAS, at (800) 422-7873 x 304, or visit www.edlab.org