Protecting Hospital Visitors and Patients from Infection: A Chat With Camfil US
Hospital Visitors and Patients Should Be Alert to Possible Infections and Take Precautions to Protect Themselves
The world’s population is growing larger and because travel from even the most distant parts of the world is becoming easier and faster, it seems the world is getting smaller. Diseases and infections that were a world away yesterday could be in your hometown hospital today. Hospitals take precautions to prevent the spread of these diseases, but they can only do so much.
In a new Google Hangout from Camfil, the world’s leading provider of hospital air filters, air filtration expert Charlie Seyffer talks about the steps that both hospitals and visitors can take to keep people safe and how air filters are used to prevent the spread of airborne disease. It can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD3oNWiTFkM.
“The world is becoming smaller and smaller. People don’t think about the spread of infections because everyone lives in their own world. The world’s population is becoming more dense and last year about 200,000,000 people traveled internationally through the United States,” says Seyffer, “The density of the population can affect transmission of infectious diseases and so can travel.”
If someone becomes ill while traveling, they can be admitted to a hospital and expose the local population to whatever disease or infection they’re suffering. Seyffer says there are two immediate issues of concern.
“Tuberculosis (or TB) is making a resurgence and we’re having a problem with drug resistant TB. We also have more common issues like rhinovirus, (the common cold), and the flu.”
When we visit family and friends in the hospital, we don’t think about those also admitted for more serious and exotic disease and infections. “We’re susceptible to picking up some of these problems,” Seyffer warns.
Though we should be concerned, it’s not something that should cause panic. “The hospitals have done an excellent job,” Seyffer says, “Part of that is dictated by standards and codes but for the most part they want to take care of their patients.”
Hospitals have very intricate central air handling and control systems that maintain air quality. This includes MERV14 filters in areas where the general population is and camfil MERV 8 filters where patients stay.
“The MERV 8 filters, when combined with the proper number of air changes, do an excellent job of removing these contaminants from the air.” Seyffer says, “If you’re going into a hospital environment, you’re well protected from airborne contaminants.”
He warns that drug resistant TB is an extreme concern, but if you’re visiting a hospital generally you don’t have to worry. Seyffer suggests paying attention to local media to learn about any infections that may be spreading in your area. Seyffer says we all need to take responsibility for our health and the health of others.
“Proper hygiene is key. A lot of these contaminants can only be transferred by touch. Germs are left on a surface and you touch that surface,” Seyffer says, “When you’re walking through a hospital, you see that there’s always someone cleaning, someone mopping the floor. That’s for your protection.”
Seyffer suggests it’s a good idea to wash your hands, or using antiseptic wipes, before and after visiting someone in the hospital. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That certainly holds true here.”
For more information on Camfil and HVAC replacement filters for hospitals (as well as anywhere else where optimal indoor air quality is imperative), visit Camfil online at http://catalog.camfil.us.
The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil provides best air filters for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. They provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections — all while lowering total cost of ownership. Camfil customers go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information, visit us online at www.camfil.us, or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.