Real-Time Space-Resolved Monitoring of Aerosol Distribution in Operating Rooms and Intensive Care Units

I. Novosselov
The University of Washington, Washington, United States

Poster stand number: W126

Keywords: infectious aerosols, hospitals, real-time monitoring

Many infection diseases, including Covid-19, can be spread by aerosols. In hospital environments such as operating rooms (ORs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs), it is critical to assess the persistence of potentially infectious aerosols to minimize their effect on patients and staff. We deploy a monitoring network of low-cost particle sensors per room to map the movement and size of particles with a time resolution of ten seconds. Monitors are placed around the bed and room at various heights and distances between 2-6 feet apart and outside the room at a nursing station to record the concentration passing through each point. The experiments performed at the University of Washington Medical Center show that (i) Operating rooms are very effective at exchanging air and may require less than a third of the time that is currently recommended by the guidelines for infectious disease control. (ii) Blocks the air vents contribute to reduced airflow and increase exfiltration of potentially infectious aerosol from the OR into the hallway. (iii) Negative pressure ICUs are more effective at removing the aerosol particles. The sensor network approach can be used to optimize the HVAC system and to understand the spread of infectious diseases in hospitals.