Hospitals and Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for better air quality, particularly in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The coronavirus transmission is airborne, making it highly infectious, but the right hospital air purification system will minimise the risk and protect people from exposure to the virus. The need for clean indoor air for both workspaces and residences makes HEPA filters a must nowadays.
The United States originally developed the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to control the spread of particles and reduce contamination from nuclear testing. Now, they are used to filter air circulation in various settings.
Currently, you can easily find hospital quality air purifiers and vacuums with HEPA labels on them. It is an indication that a filter is able to trap particles, such as moulds, dust, pollen, bacteria or any particles with 0.3 microns in diameter. To give you an idea of how effective HEPA filters are, moulds are within 3-12 microns, spores are in the range of 3-40 microns, while pure oxygen is 0.0005 microns in size.
HEPA air filter is not an ordinary type of filter. It must be tested and proven to remove air contaminants effectively at 99.97% before releasing it to the market.
HEPA Filtration Rate
Any hospital quality air purifier with HEPA filter comes in different rates, and it is measured by the size of particles it can absorb. Medical-grade HEPA filters have the highest filtration efficiency and are rated between H13 and H14 and can filter contaminants that are 0.1 microns in diameter at 99.9995%. Given its high filtration rate, it is used in hospitals and in pharmaceutical and electronic control rooms.
To extend the service life of HEPA filters, pre-filters are often utilised because they are also cost-effective. Pre-filters will trap general debris, dust lint and other big particles, preventing the HEPA filters from overloading fast and early clogging and from constant replacement.
The usual arrangement of pre-filters may start with the initial G4 pleated filter, where it will trap all large particles. The second would be an F8 multi-pocket bag filter to catch medium to small particles before the final filter, the HEPA.
Benefits of HEPA Air Filters for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
Hospital air purification systems in healthcare facilities are essential in preventing and minimising the transmissibility of airborne pathogens. In particular, a proper air filtration system can significantly reduce the risk of exposure and improve air quality in health facilities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main benefit of HEPA filters used in hospitals and other healthcare facilities is improving air quality in these facilities. Studies have shown how air ventilation is vital in preventing airborne infection and protecting patients, visitors and healthcare workers from contracting dangerous viruses.
Several research studies by different groups showed significant improvement when air filtration was in place. A study done by Oren and his team in 2001 showed how leukemia patients experienced a 50% infection rate for aspergillosis when placed in a room with natural ventilation. However, some of the patients were transferred to a room equipped with HEPA filtration, and the infection rate went down remarkably.
Moreover, yearly tests done for 13 years on HEPA filters showed the reliability of the filters in biological laboratories.
Aside from providing infection control in patients’ rooms, HEPA filter is extensively used in operating theatres to minimise infection on surgical sites. The laminar airflow systems often used in many operating theatres work best with HEPA filters because they ensure clean airflow into the operating space and effectively reduce the contamination level.
Burn patients in single bed isolation also benefit from a combination of air filtration systems. The incidence of Gram-negative infection was notably reduced in the 2,519 burn patients.
HEPA filters in hospitals and healthcare facilities are not just about providing clean air. They are also highly recommended in rooms for immunocompromised patients. Poor air condition can lead to death for those who are immunocompromised and vulnerable to infections. Patients who develop an infection during their hospitalisation are at risk for extended hospitalisation and deterioration of their condition.
How It Works
HEPA uses complex fibre filters to trap particles successfully. As the particles travel, they will run into these fibres and become trapped. These filters are made from synthetic or vegetal fibres and form into a maze that will trap all the particles. Four processes are involved during filtration: direct impaction, sieving, interception and diffusion.
Unfortunately, the air filtration system is not a one-size fits-all device. Certain areas in a healthcare facility require a specific type of air filtration, such as those in highly contagious work areas like isolation rooms, operating theatres, intensive care units and microbiology laboratories.
Also, knowing the right air filtration rate is essential in ensuring patients and healthcare workers are protected from contagious diseases.
Clean Air with RENSAIR
To find the best air purifier for hospitals in the market, avoid labels like ‘HEPA Type’ or ‘HEPA Like’, which aim to give an impression of a high filtration rate. These products are ineffective because they do not meet the standard; they cannot filter contaminants at 99.97% efficiency rate.
For hospital-quality air purifiers, check out RENSAIR HEPA air purifiers! These HEPA air purifiers don’t just trap airborne bacteria, viruses and pollutants; they also destroy them. For more details about these products, contact us today!