A recent outbreak of measles in New York has the city’s health department investigating if it was actually spread at local hospitals and medical facilities. According to Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News Channel’s managing editor for health news:
“Sometimes the doctors are not quick to recognize that it is measles and therefore before you know it that patient has been sitting in a waiting room with 20 or 30 people around them and now they are exposed because these types of diseases are very infectious,”
I recently met with an architect who designs hospitals. The purpose of our meeting was to introduce him to the Arcalux ultraviolet air purification system our company markets to various industries. The product eliminates the airborne spread of disease by way of a hidden ultraviolet germicidal chamber that sterilizes the air.
He was very impressed with the high tech product and its ability to eliminate 99.7% of airborne germs, viruses and antibiotic resistant organisms. He cautioned me that the typical health care facility is only interested in meeting the industry standards and nothing more. High tech could be a hard sell.
Ventilation standards for hospitals are in place to help prevent the spread of infections by changing room air at a given frequency. This typically keeps the concentration of germs low through dilution. It works well if a room is not full of sick people. In a crowded waiting room it’s a different story. Where there’s a high concentration of sick people, moving the air around can also spread the germs around.
In areas where there are large concentrations of sick people, a higher standard is needed to protect those that are gathered. Waiting rooms are a key area but also work environments where people (including sick people who refuse to stay home) are gathered in tightly confined spaces. Call centers or cube farms with many people in the same room are key areas where higher air quality standards should be the norm.
The spread of measles in a hospital waiting room is a prime example of why a dental office installed our ceiling mounted ultraviolet air purification systems recently. The office wants to prevent the spread of disease between patients plus improve the working environment for their staff.
Standard ventilation practices may have worked adequately in the past. In this era of “nightmare bacteria” and antibiotic resistant organisms a new standard is necessary. Ultraviolet light has been used effectively for over 100 years to prevent the spread of infections. I predict a new standard will be established for waiting rooms and it will result in greater piece of mind for those sitting long hours waiting for care or the status of a loved one.
The Energy Alliance Group (EAG) of North America is an energy solutions company providing energy saving products, technologies and services.