The Critical Importance of Indoor Air Quality in Hospital Environments

Indoor Air Quality In Hospital Environments

Most of us associate hospitals with their ability to treat diseases and potentially serious illnesses. While there is no doubt that medical technology is light years ahead of the services available only a few decades ago, it is still a fact that these environments can pose their own set of risks. For example, were you aware that some studies have found that up to 5,000 individuals within the United Kingdom die every year as a result of hospital-borne infections(1)?. This is often caused by poor hospital indoor air quality. What impact does air quality have on human health? What are the challenges often attributed to hospital air quality standards? Are there any solutions currently available and if so, what benefits can these provide to patients and staff members alike? As a growing number of individuals rely upon these centres for medical treatments, the issue of air quality impacting on health should never be taken lightly. It is definitely worth considering investing in hospital air quality monitoring services if you haven’t done so already.

What Impact Does Air Quality Have on Human Health?

One of the issues associated with hospitals is that they tend to represent rather enclosed spaces, this is why maintaining hospital indoor air quality standards can sometimes be difficult, without intervention. Ventilation systems are carefully controlled and regulated in a bid to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. However, this is often more of a myth than a reality, which is why air quality testing in hospitals is necessary.

The problem with indoor air quality in hospital environments is that they generally contain a higher level of airborne pollutants when compared to other spaces such as warehouses and commercial offices. Not only are we referring to bacteria and germs in this sense, but harsh cleaning chemicals and similar irritants can adversely impact the respiratory health of patients. Whilst it is understandably important to maintain good levels of hygiene, it is also vital to make sure you are not compromising on hospital indoor air quality standards as a result of this.

Some diseases which can be easily transported through the air include (but are by no means limited to) the common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, tuberculosis. While these are certainly hazards to anyone, we need to keep in mind that many individuals who are currently in hospital have lower immune systems. In other words, it is much more difficult for these patients to fight off infections that may occur as a result of exposure to such airborne hazards. If left unchecked, these diseases can easily spread between wards and in a worst-case scenario, deaths may occur. This is why developing bespoke solutions to improve hospital indoor air quality is absolutely critical.

What Viable Solutions are Available?

The air quality impact on health should be quite clear at this point. So, what steps can management take in order to ensure the safety of staff members and patients alike? There are several ways in which this question can be answered, and it may differ on a case to case basis. It is obviously important to adhere to all relevant industry safety standards in regards to indoor air quality in hospital environments.

The other main takeaway point is that the correct filtration and circulation systems need to be put in place. The first step generally involves obtaining a professional evaluation that will determine the quality of the air as well as any areas that need to be proactively addressed. Solutions to improve hospital indoor air quality standards will only be encountered after the problems themselves have been detected, so the evaluation stage is a vital part of the process. It is also wise to consider regular hospital air quality monitoring in order to detect and rectify small problems before they evolve into serious health hazards.

There may also be times when specific areas within a hospital (such as an intensive care ward) need to be controlled in terms of ventilation, humidity levels and temperature. These actions will help to mitigate the chances that airborne pollutants spread from one location to another.

Addressing hospital indoor air quality is important in order to ensure the health of everyone, especially considering the fact that many people within a hospital environment are already vulnerable. Still, this can be a rather complicated subject to tackle if you have little prior experience. It is, therefore, better to contact the experts at Air Quality Plan. We will be happy to speak with you further as well as to schedule an appointment in order to determine what steps need to be taken. We are always on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding hospital indoor air quality, get in touch with a member of our expert team here.

Sources: 1.

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