A simple solution to reduce COVID-19 in hospitals
According to Andrew Conway-Morris, BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), PhD, of The John Farman ICU, a simple solution that involves the use of air filtration devices can help reduce the risk of infections by nosocomial SARS-CoV-2. , Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Division of Anesthesia, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, UK.
“The use of such systems may provide additional safety for those at high risk of exposure to respiratory pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2,” the investigators commented.
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In their cross-study,1the authors evaluated portable air filtration and sterilization devices in a COVID ward and surge intensive care unit (ICU) reassigned to Addenbrooke Hospital, Cambridge, UK, in January and February 2021.
They used cyclonic aerosol samplers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and polymerase chain reaction tests to detect airborne SARS-CoV-2 and other microbial bioaerosols with and without filtration. air / ultraviolet (UV).
At the time of this study, the alpha variant predominated.
In the emergency department (4 beds), clinicians treated patients requiring simple oxygen therapy or without respiratory support, and in the ICU (5 beds and 6 beds in the second week) patients required invasive and non-invasive respiratory support.
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During the study, the dwellings were fully occupied.
Investigators installed an AC1500 HEPA14 / UV sterilizer (Filterx, Harlow, UK) in the ward and a Medi 10 HEPA13 / UV sterilizer (Max Vac, Zurich, Switzerland) in the intensive care unit.
Researchers reported detecting airborne SARS-CoV-2 in the ward the 5 days before the air / UV filtration was activated, but not during the 5 days the air / UV filter was activated. .
After deactivation of the filtration system, SARS-CoV-2 was detected again on 4 of the 5 days of sampling. In the intensive care unit, airborne pathogens were detected infrequently.
âThe filtration significantly reduced the load of other microbial bioaerosols in both departments (48 pathogens detected before filtration, two after, p= 0.05) and ICU (45 pathogens detected before filtration, five after, p= 0.05) â, they commented.
The data showed that viral particles were present in areas that were not considered aerosol risk areas.
âThe use of such systems may provide additional safety for those at high risk of exposure to respiratory pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2,â the authors concluded.
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1. Conway-Morris A, Sharrocks K, Bousfield R, et al. Removal of airborne SARS-CoV-2 and other microbial bioaerosols by air filtration on COVID-19 surge units. medRxiv 2021; published on September 22, 2021; https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.09.16.21263684v1