A Guide to Hospital Air Filtration
Hospital air filtration keeps patients and employees safe while following local and federal guidelines. Even though many products can clean the atmosphere, hospital HEPA filter air purifiers are the most effective at removing germs from your facility. This guide explores the equipment you need for excellent hospital-grade air at your location.
Benefits of Improving Hospital Air Quality
Enhancing your hospital's air quality improves your overall environment in the following ways:
- Reduces the spread of illness: Hospitals and clinics are more at risk of having contaminants than other facilities with closed spaces. The people visiting have ailments that could reduce indoor air quality. Improving air filtration in medical facilities keeps your staff and patients safer against airborne pathogens.
- Meets safety standards for medical facilities: Improving the air quality will help your hospital or clinic comply with occupational health and safety guidelines. Cleaning the air in your medical institution offers a more pleasant atmosphere for visitors, patients and staff.
- Encourages workflow and patient care: Excellent air quality can prevent infections that harm employees and reduce workflow. If the air isn't clean and people get sick, medical facilities must delay surgeries or transfer their patients.
- Saves money on energy costs: Installing a high-quality air filtration system improves energy efficiency by putting less strain on the HVAC system. This savings in energy costs could offset some money lost from budget cuts, so you have more money to spend on other programs.
Air filtration systems protect patients and staff from pathogens and other airborne contaminants, such as radon, dust, fire retardants, allergens and formaldehyde. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that indoor air is 2 to 5 times more contaminated than outdoor air. This contamination is due to building materials, surgical equipment, chemicals and medication. An air-filtration system can provide a cleaner environment for all who regularly come to these medical facilities.
Air Quality Requirements for Hospitals and Clinics
The standards for air quality in medical institutions depend on the activity that takes place in each department. Areas such as isolation rooms, operation suites and Intensive Care Units (ICU) need high-efficiency equipment to filter out airborne particles and keep visitors, staff and patients safe from infection and disease. Some areas, including pharmacies, waiting rooms, laboratories and dental surgery rooms, need protection against odors, contaminants and chemicals.
Hospital-grade air filtration systems can prevent nosocomial infections as a result of staying in a medical facility. Eliminating airborne pathogens is especially helpful for immunocompromised patients, such as oncology patients or recipients of transplants. Preventing nosocomial infections can save your medical facility money, shorten patient stay and reduce the risk of medical complications.
Products That Help With Hospital Air Filtration and Quality
Air filtration systems typically have a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) based on their effectiveness. This value reveals the size particles between 0.3 and 10 microns that the filter can trap. Filters with higher MERV ratings can collect smaller particles.
The following products can protect your medical facility from viruses and other contaminants through your hospital air purifier or HVAC system:
- MERV 4: The MERV 4 Polyester Air Filter is for light commercial use, such as in a waiting room, pharmacy or autopsy room. Combined with your HVAC system or air purifier, this filter can remove airborne lint, dust and fabric fibers.
- MERV 8: The MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter is slightly more efficient than MERV 4 filters, with the ability to eliminate mold spores, dust mite body parts and droppings, cat and dog dander, powdered milk and other larger particles. High-capacity air filters offer a little more surface area to catch more particles.
- MERV 11: The MERV 11 Pleated Air Filter may be thicker than other air filters, but they can trap large particles, including nebulizer drops, Legionella, auto emission particles, dust and lead.
- MERV 13: MERV 13 Pleated Air Filter is excellent for operating room air filtration because it can capture all bacteria, pigments, viruses, paint, smoke and dust.
- MERV 8 Carbon: The Carbon Pleated Air Filter has a MERV rating of 8, and it reduces odors in the air.
- ASHRAE: The ASHRAE Cell Filter features a 95% galvanized frame with high-efficiency performance. It resists abrasion, mold and mildew growth to keep your air safe and reduce the need to replace it.
HEPA Filters in Hospitals
Since efficient air filtration is vital for any clinic or hospital, your facility needs a system to prevent airborne pathogens from spreading illnesses. HEPA filters are the most effective at eliminating germs from the air, and they're a requirement for most medical facilities.
The air in hospitals and clinics needs to be free of viruses and bacteria to prevent infection. Antimicrobial HEPA filters can kill up to 99.97% of illness-causing particles from the atmosphere on contact and keep them from forming again. HEPA filters are suitable in the following settings:
- Medical laboratories: Healthcare professionals and scientists regularly come across dangerous pathogens during research and analysis. They need protection from illnesses with HEPA filters to remove contaminants from the air. Laboratories may even require HEPA filters to comply with health and safety laws.
- Surgical suites: Operating rooms need to be as clean as possible to prevent infections in immunocompromised patients undergoing surgical procedures. HEPA filters can reduce hospital-acquired illnesses and help medical facilities save money from financial repercussions from losing doctors to sick days.
- Cleaning machines: The maintenance staff of medical facilities can use HEPA filters with their daily cleaning supplies to provide a better, cleaner environment for patients, employees and visitors. Using a HEPA filter for sweeper scrubbers or vacuums protects all surfaces and rooms from germs.
- Incubators: Newborns are immunocompromised patients, especially if they wind up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). HEPA filters can help prevent newborns from developing severe illnesses from being exposed to harmful viruses and bacteria. By cleaning the air flowing through incubators, newborns with weaker immune systems can breathe cleaner air.
- Warming beds: Since warming beds typically have closed-circuit forced air systems to allow patients to stay warm, they can bring dangerous particles into the bed and cause infections. HEPA filters inside of the warming beds can prevent contaminants from making contact with the air.
Get HEPA Filters Delivered, Today!
Our team at Brookaire offers high-quality HEPA filters and more for your hospital or clinic, and we'll deliver them right to your facility. If you're in one of our delivery areas — New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania or Connecticut — you'll have access to high-quality hospital-grade air in no time.