Protect your patients and staff with our expert advice on ventilation systems, design and maintenance in the age of COVID-19, backed by our proven excellence and innovation.
Ventilation and COVID-19 In NHS and Healthcare
Having the best possible air purification system to battle COVID-19 is vital in hospital situations. Medical HVAC systems act as a filter for viruses and bacteria which improves recovery rates of infected patients.
In our quest to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, it is essential to find ways to improve recovery times and survival rates of patients with COVID-19, thus alleviating the pressure the NHS and the healthcare industry faces due to ever increasing hospital admissions. One way to improve the environmental conditions in hospitals is through HVAC systems, which are not only a contributing factor to the comfort of patients, but a potential lifeline in their recovery and ultimately return home to their families.
Why is COVID-19 so dangerous?
The COVID-19 virus that has stolen many lives, which is known as COVID-19, is an airborne virus with a much higher transmission rate than other viruses which is spread through contact or airborne droplets. The virus primarily targets the respiratory system, which causes severe illness in some individuals who subsequently require hospitalisation.
Since the airborne droplets are small, they remain suspended in the air for extended periods of time and can spread over a longer distance than normal airborne viruses. For that reason, it has been proven that confined, crowded places are at higher risk and a lack of ventilation significantly increases the risk of exposure and infection. Studies show that where social distancing practices were enforced and antiviral air filter systems were in use people have experienced significantly fewer cases of infection or severe illness. Time also plays a larger part as being exposed to the virus for periods longer than necessary have resulted in higher cases of infection, despite social distancing being put in place.
Medical HVAC systems explained
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and is a term widely used to define systems used to modulate temperature, humidity and air quality. While they are of great importance to any type of occupied space, they are vital in hospital situations because they act as a filter for viruses and bacteria, thus improving the recovery rate and minimising the risk of infection of patients who are susceptible to infection and who could be immunosuppressed.
Therefore, having the best possible air purification system is essential in keeping the environment free of the Covid virus and any other viruses that might exist in the environment. Assessing the correct environmental conditions needed in rooms with different uses inside the hospital environment (operating theatres, intensive care etc) will be the first step in formulating the optimum solution for any HVAC system.
When it comes to filtration, some rooms may require HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter) which will be selected based on the level of filtration required in the space.
Control of humidity is an important factor to consider as well, as it has been established that a level of 40%-60% helps minimise the survival time of the virus in any environment.
HVAC systems cleaning and maintaining
We cannot stress this enough - HVAC systems have an extended operational life with a reduced life cycle cost when they are maintained in good condition, so make sure regular professional maintenance is completed to ensure everything is working well and in compliance with HTM03.
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