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An easy solution to reduce COVID-19 in hospitals



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According to John Farman ICU’s Andrew Conway-Morris, BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), PhD, a simple solution involving the use of air filtering devices can help reduce the risk of hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections. , Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Department of Anesthesia, Department of Medicine, Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

“Using such systems may provide additional safety for those at high risk of exposure to respiratory pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers said.

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In crossover studies,oneThe authors evaluated portable air filtering and sterilization devices in a redesigned “surge” COVID ward and surge intensive care unit (ICU) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK, in January and February 2021.

They used National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health cyclonic aerosol samplers and polymerase chain reaction experiments to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other microbial bioaerosols in air with and without air/ultraviolet (UV) filtration.

At the time of this study, the alpha variant was dominant.

In the operating room (4 beds), clinicians treated patients who needed simple oxygen therapy or no respiratory support, and in the intensive care unit (5 beds and 6 beds during the second week) patients needed invasive and non-invasive respiratory support.

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During the operation, the units were completely occupied.

Investigators installed an AC1500 HEPA14/UV sterilizer (Filtrex, Harlow, UK) in the ward and a Medi 10 HEPA13/UV sterilizer (Max Vac, Zurich, Switzerland) in the intensive care unit.

The researchers reported that SARS-CoV-2 was detected by air in the ward for all 5 days before the air/UV filtration was activated, but not during the 5 days when the air/UV filter was activated.

After the filtration system was disabled, SARS-CoV-2 was detected again in 4 of the 5-day sampling. Airborne pathogens were rarely detected in the intensive care unit.

“The filtration significantly reduced the load of other microbial bioaerosols in both wards (48 pathogens detected before filtration, P=0.05) and ICU (45 pathogens detected before filtering, five after, P=0.05),” they commented.

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The data showed that viral particles were present in areas not considered aerosol risk areas.

“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 authors said.

Read more COVID-19 coverage

Reference
1. Conway-Morris A, Sharrocks K, Bousfield R, et al. Removal of airborne SARS-CoV-2 and other microbial bioaerosols by air filtration in COVID-19 surge units. medRxiv 2021; Released on September 22, 2021; https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.09.16.21263684v1

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