healthcare

Implement Air Purification Solutions to Prevent Hazardous Drug Exposure

Implement air purification solutions to prevent hazardous drug exposure 1

While drugs can help patients recover from devastating ailments and diseases, the drugs administered to patients may harm healthcare workers. Long term exposure to these drugs, such as those used for chemotherapy, could result in workers themselves developing negative health effects. An estimated 8 million healthcare workers may be exposed to hazardous drugs that may be harmful to their health, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workplace exposure may result in acute and chronic health conditions, including skin rashes, and staff may even develop cancers such as leukemia.

Healthcare staff who may work in a position that involves exposure to these types of drugs include: pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians and physician assistants as well as operating room personnel.

“Workers may be exposed to hazardous drugs when they create aerosols, generate dust, clean up spills, or touch contaminated surfaces when compounding, administering, or disposing of hazardous drugs or patient waste,” according to NIOSH.

NIOSH said the amount of exposure to hazardous drugs determines how toxic they may be to healthcare staff. In knowing these health risks, employers may want to encourage workers to protect themselves using engineering controls and by following administrative policies when handling these drugs.

Techniques and equipment to prevent exposure to hazardous drugs

​NIOSH recommends that employers perform a risk assessment of the workplace to identify the drugs that workers will be exposed to, such as the types of drugs that are administered and handled. The agency recommends that employers determine the working environment, including the physical layout of work areas. In this way, healthcare facilities can better improve the safety procedures and utilize the engineering controls they have for hazardous drugs. 

Workers could choose to implement closed system transfer devices (CSTDs), which are becoming increasingly used in hospitals, according to Pharmacy Practice News. A CSTD is a medical device to transfer drugs without hazardous drugs or fumes from escaping. While hospitals could purchase these devices, healthcare employers could also consider employing other engineering controls that focus on cleaning air to prevent exposure.

When drug preparation causes hazardous emissions, air purification is key. Removing toxic fumes before they enter a worker’s breathing space is crucial for ensuring employee wellness. Indoor air cleaning equipment such as our 989 model will help pharmacists and healthcare facilities maintain a healthy IAQ.

Hospital and medical facility news brought to you by Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc.

Understanding How Positive / Negative Pressure Machines Are Used in Healthcare

Understanding How Positive / Negative Pressure Machines Are Used in Healthcare 1

Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, we, as a global population, continue to find ways to keep our indoor air quality clean and free of potentially threatening particles, dust, and germs. Never has there been a time in modern history that we have faced such an urgency.

Public health emergencies, such as the Covid-19 crisis, require systematic protocols to protect citizens from airborne contaminants and infectious diseases. The medical community and the patients they labor to protect are even more vulnerable than the general public and require many extra layers of protection against illness.

Existing healthcare practices generally include personal protective equipment and accessories, patient isolation, and environmental control. But for the most aggressive communicable diseases, additional measures such as a negative pressure machine are recommended. 

To understand its effectiveness in this circumstance, one must become familiar with this particular piece of equipment and understand how it operates.

What is Negative Pressure Air Cleaning?

This type of air purifier, when using negative pressure, removes airborne pollutants from a contained space so as to prevent the spread of contamination to other parts of a building or structure. 

How Does a Negative Pressure Machine Work?

The unit creates a negative vacuum that pulls air in and through a filter (such as HEPA or ULPA) and attached ductwork to remove impurities such as microbes, dust, and molds. Thus, preventing dirty air from leaving the space.

What Is Positive Pressure Air Cleaning?  

When using positive pressure, the air cleaner maintains a higher room air pressure than that of the surrounding environment, meaning particles are filtered as air leaves a room and are prevented from returning.

Are They CDC or OSHA Approved?

Neither the CDC nor OSHA approve indoor air quality equipment – to say a piece of equipment is CDC approved is misleading. Both organizations set standards that need to be met by businesses and healthcare facilities. Quality air cleaning equipment can help such organizations meet these standards and adhere to such regulations.

What are examples of Positive/Negative Pressure Rooms?

Patients with infectious diseases, such as the Covid-19 virus, require isolation treatment in a space with a negative pressure machine. This reduces the chance of germ transmission via doorways and HVAC systems. Other examples of medical spaces that require negative pressure machine cleaning are waiting rooms, ERs, facility bathrooms, and decontamination spaces.

Positive pressure rooms require consistent filtration of harmful pollutants so clean air is always maintained. Examples are operating rooms, laboratory clean rooms, and in vitro fertilization labs. 

The type of pressure machine product that is right for a given application will depend on whether or not an area or room and the air within need to be isolated or protected from outside contaminants. At Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc. we provide to our customers our Extract-All® Ultra Clean Air room air cleaning system. It is a portable, self-contained high-efficiency system that uses HEPA or ULPA filtration. For more information, contact us for a free estimate with one of our clean air experts.