Designing ventilation systems for health care facilities was considered. A history of applying ventilation engineering to control airborne microorganism populations and design guidelines for ventilation systems for hospitals and other health care facilities recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers were presented. Designs for ventilation systems for new health care facilities covered topics such as ventilation in general and general ventilation systems for patient rooms, isolation rooms, radiology departments, waiting rooms, admitting and emergency departments, local ventilation, and ventilation systems for special procedure rooms and operating rooms, and air cleaning. It was noted that since the effectiveness of a general ventilation system depends completely on having clean air, the air must be cleaned by appropriate filters. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that air potentially contaminated with pathogens be filtered by high efficiency particulate filters before being recirculated by the general ventilation system. Retrofitting ventilation systems for health care facilities becomes necessary when model code making authorities produce new or revised building codes that require more stringent ventilation. Techniques for retrofitting ventilation systems for patient rooms, infection isolation rooms, waiting rooms, and special procedures rooms, techniques for maintaining building air intake and exhaust systems in good working order, and providing appropriate air flow rates for health care facilities were discussed. Short and long term recommendations for bringing health care facilities up to a minimum level of protection against the spread of airborne infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis, were presented.
Proceedings of the Workshop on Engineering Controls for Preventing Airborne Infections in Workers in Health Care and Related Facilities, July 14-16, 1993, Cincinnati, Ohio