Why it’s important for hospitals to maintain optimal temperature control

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Whenever we read articles covering hospitals in the UK, they tend to be highlighting the issues they’re facing. If it’s not staff shortages, then it’s the lack of funding we tend to see within the media and these issues are being brought to hospitals every single day. However, it’s not just these concerns that are affecting hospitals, it’s air too.

Staff and patient comfort are the biggest priorities for hospitals all over the world, therefore it’s important for them to obtain a certain level of air quality and temperature control, especially when dealing with sick patients vulnerable to diseases. The last thing hospitals need added to their ever-growing list of issues is for an airborne disease to breakout in It’s wards. To reduce the chances of this, there must be appropriate ventilation and ventilation management systems in place to keep patients safe.

With this in mind, we’ll explore the most important aspects of temperature and air quality control for hospitals.

For patient comfort

An important purpose for temperature control is to bring comfort to patients. This was highlighted during an incident in March 2018 when a faulty air conditioning unit led to a dramatic drop in temperature for a maternity ward in Kent. The temperature dropped low enough to risk hypothermia for the babies in the ward. 

What’s more alarming is that it’s not only cold temperatures that are an issue faced by hospitals when we talk about temperature control. Both patients and staff complained throughout the year of problem temperatures, from 33°C in the labour and maternity ward in the summer, to being unbearably cold in the winter. With a proper investment in effective HVAC systems and temperature sensors, a comfortable level can be maintained. 

To control disease

Safety is another reason. As many of us know, bacteria and fungi thrive in overly-warm conditions, and can spread quickly in unventilated rooms. By carefully monitoring temperature and humidity, the risk of airborne diseases spreading can be reduced significantly. According to an article by Rotronic UK, the recommended room temperature for hospitals in the summer is between 23°C and 27°C, while in the winter it is recommended to keep the temperatures slightly lower with a guide range of 24°C to 26°C. Humidity-wise, the report recommends 50-60%rh throughout the hospital.

To control germs

Airborne disease and germs must be controlled that’s why it’s crucial for hospitals to have appropriate air quality and ventilations in place. Medical Xpress noted the current practice of some hospitals involves using negative pressure rooms to treat infected patients, with ventilation rooms that keep the air from these rooms from getting out to the rest of the hospital.

To stop diseases flowing out of infected wards, hospitals need to reduce the air supply within them and pump it out at maximum, causing negative pressure to form in its rooms. This means when a door is opened, air rushes into the room, but not out. This keeps the germ-filled air trapped in the wards with the infected patients, rather than allowing it out to spread through the building. 

So, as we can see, it’s really important for hospitals to have temperature, air quality and ventilation control at all times. For an industry already facing so many issues, poor air conditioning and humidity levels shouldn’t have to be suffered; they can be easily dealt with a quality air conditioning system to keep patients comfortable and protected.

Sources:

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/news/hospital-repairs-backlog-putting-patients-at-risk-197332/

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-07-large-scale-germ-solution-hospitals.html

https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/operating-room/developing-case-implementation-operating-room-air-decontamination-technology

https://blog.rotronic.co.uk/2014/09/15/importance-of-monitoring-and-controlling-temperature-and-humidity-in-hospitals/

https://news.sky.com/nhs-in-numbers