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Forced-air warming design: evaluation of intake filtration, internal microbial buildup, and airborne-contamination emissions

Reed, MR; Kimberger, O; McGovern, P; Albrecht, MC; (2013) Forced-air warming design: evaluation of intake filtration, internal microbial buildup, and airborne-contamination emissions. AANA Journal , 81 (4) pp. 275-80.

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Abstract

Forced-air warming devices are effective for the prevention of surgical hypothermia. However, these devices intake nonsterile floor-level air, and it is unknown whether they have adequate filtration measures to prevent the internal buildup or emission of microbial contaminants. We rated the intake filtration efficiency of a popular current-generation forced-air warming device (Bair Hugger model 750, Arizant Healthcare) using a monodisperse sodium chloride aerosol in the laboratory. We further sampled 23 forced-air warming devices (same model) in daily hospital use for internal microbial buildup and airborne-contamination emissions via swabbing and particle counting. Laboratory testing found the intake filter to be 63.8% efficient. Swabbing detected microorganisms within 100% of the forced-air warming blowers sampled, with isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci, mold, and micrococci identified. Particle counting showed 96% of forced-air warming blowers to be emitting significant levels of internally generated airborne contaminants out of the hose end. These findings highlight the need for upgraded intake filtration, preferably high-efficiency particulate air filtration (99.97% efficient), on current-generation forced-air warming devices to reduce contamination buildup and emission risks.

Type: Article
Title: Forced-air warming design: evaluation of intake filtration, internal microbial buildup, and airborne-contamination emissions
Location: USA
Keywords: Forced-air warming, Infection, filtration
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464177
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