Research Conducted by Associate Professor, Kevin Grosskopf

The Effects of Airflow and Door Position on Aerosol Dispersion within a General Patient and Airborne infectious Isolation Room

An actual hospital was used to map the spatial dispersion of synthetic respiratory aerosols with respect to particle size, airflow, door position and personnel movement within a general patient room, an airborne infectious isolation room (AIIR) and corridor. Aerosols ≥1.0μm (most bacterial coliform and fungal spores) were found to be readily influenced by environmental conditions when compared to aerosols <1.0μm within both general patient and isolation rooms. Specifically, decay rates among particles ≥1.0μm were greater in the general patient room when compared to decay rates in the isolation room. In contrast, aerosols <1.0μm (viruses and some bacteria) appeared to disperse randomly and uniformly throughout both test rooms with significantly less regard to environmental conditions. Door motion and position were found to have a significant effect on room pressure relationships with adjacent spaces and subsequent aerosol containment in both general patient room and isolation anteroom. Results underscore the importance of not only maintaining proper environmental controls, but also diligence to proper entrance and egress procedures, source controls and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

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