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There Are Special Regulations for the Construction and Maintenance of Hospital Ventilation

February 13th, 2021

The hospital facilities manager could be seen as part of its healthcare team, even though he or she is not directly involved in medical treatment, because the role includes maintaining high standards of hygiene and efficiency in the building’s ventilation systems.

It is well known that ventilation systems accumulate dust, which is a mixture of organic compounds containing a high proportion of skin and hair, both valuable nutrients for the growth of micro-organisms that can then easily become airborne. The UK’s Department of Health has a set of guidelines specially for the construction and maintenance of ducted air systems, called Health Technical Memorandum 03-01.

The transmission of airborne infection is a crucial issue for hospitals, where patients are particularly vulnerable to infection. Maintaining good air In the introduction is the statement that increased health risks to patients will occur if ventilation systems do not achieve and maintain the required standards and that the link between surgical site infection and theatre air quality has been well established.

MRSA is known to be able to survive on surfaces or skin scales for up to 80 days and spores of Clostridium difficile may last even longer. So while they may not directly transmit from person to person through the air, any skin particles that collect as dust in ducting systems and other hard to clean places could potentially be a risk to patients.

Tuberculosis (TB; Mycobacterium tuberculosis), on the other hand, is transmitted in the air and can be a source of outbreak in hospitals.

It is known that ductwork systems gather dust which is a mixture of organic compounds containing a high proportion of skin and hair, both valuable nutrients for the growth of micro-organisms that can then easily become airborne

The UK’s Department of Health has a set of guidelines specially for the construction and maintenance of ducted air systems, called Health Technical Memorandum 03-01.

In the first part is a list of specifications for the construction of air duct systems in hospitals, but it may not be either practical or affordable for an existing hospital to replace an existing air duct system and the memorandum’s second part lays down specific rules for their inspection and maintenance to ensure.

The first part contains a list of specifications for the construction of air duct systems in hospitals, but it may not be either practical or affordable for an existing hospital to replace an existing air duct system and the second part of the memorandum lays down specific rules for their inspection and maintenance to ensure ventilation hygiene.

It says that all ventilation systems should be have at least a simple visual inspection annually to ensure that it conforms to the minimum standards and that its general condition is fit for its purpose and operating effectively.

Hopsital hygiene is about more than making sure that that surfaces are regularly cleaned and that staff, visitors and patients should wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of potentially-dangerous infections like MRSA.

Arguably, therefore the hospital facilities manager plays an essential role in ensuring the health and safety of patients while in hospital and their recovery from illness as quickly as possible because it is part of their role to ensure that the air quality standards are kept as high as possible.

MRSA can survive on surfaces or skin scales for up to 80 days and spores of Clostridium difficile may last even longer.

A regular schedule of inspection, ventilation cleaning and filter maintenance is, therefore, an essential part of patient care and best carried out by a specialist cleaning contractor fully conversant with all the latest rules and regulations specific to hospital ventilation systems.

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers