Current and potential approaches on assessing airflow and particle dispersion in healthcare facilities: A systematic review

Tan, Huiyi and Wong, Keng Yinn and Othman, Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan and Kek, Hong Yee and Wahab, Roswanira Abdul and Ern, Garry Kuan Pei and Chong, Wen Tong and Lee, Kee Quen (2022) Current and potential approaches on assessing airflow and particle dispersion in healthcare facilities: A systematic review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29 (53, SI). pp. 80137-80160. ISSN 0944-1344, DOI

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An indoor environment in a hospital building requires a high indoor air quality (IAQ) to overcome patients' risks of getting wound infections without interrupting the recovery process. However, several problems arose in obtaining a satisfactory IAQ, such as poor ventilation design strategies, insufficient air exchange, improper medical equipment placement and high door opening frequency. This paper presents an overview of various methods used for assessing the IAQ in hospital facilities, especially in an operating room, isolation room, anteroom, postoperative room, inpatient room and dentistry room. This review shows that both experimental and numerical methods demonstrated their advantages in the IAQ assessment. It was revealed that both airflow and particle tracking models could result in different particle dispersion predictions. The model selection should depend on the compatibility of the simulated result with the experimental measurement data. The primary and secondary forces affecting the characteristics of particle dispersion were also discussed in detail. The main contributing forces to the trajectory characteristics of a particle could be attributed to the gravitational force and drag force regardless of particle size. Meanwhile, the additional forces could be considered when there involves temperature gradient, intense light source, submicron particle, etc. The particle size concerned in a healthcare facility should be less than 20 mu m as this particle size range showed a closer relationship with the virus load and a higher tendency to remain airborne. Also, further research opportunities that reflect a more realistic approach and improvement in the current assessment approach were proposed.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Mini Research Grant by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Malaysia Branch, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Zamalah Grant [4C587] [00N0]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Airflow distribution; Particle dispersion; Healthcare facilities; Numerical simulation; Onsite investigation; Healthcare-associated infection
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2023 01:58
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 02:05

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