Alternative ventilation system for operating theaters: parameter study and full-scale assessment of the performance of a local ventilation system

Authors J.G.H. Loogman, Helianthe S.M. Kort, M.G.L.C. Loomans, I.M. de Visser
Published in Building and Environment
Publication date 22 March 2016
Type Article


A local operating theater ventilation device to specifically ventilate the wound area has been developed and investigated. The ventilation device is combined with a blanket which lies over the patient during the operation. Two configurations were studied: Configuration 1 where HEPA-filtered air was supplied around and parallel to the wound area and Configuration 2 where HEPA-filtered air was supplied from the top surface of the blanket, perpendicular to the wound area. A similar approach is investigated in parallel for an instrument table. The objective of the study was to verify the effectiveness of the local device. Prototype solutions developed were studied experimentally (laboratory) and numerically (CFD) in a simplified setup, followed by experimental assessment in a full scale mock-up. Isothermal as well as non-isothermal conditions were analyzed. Particle concentrations obtained in proposed solutions were compared to the concentration without local ventilation. The analysis procedure followed current national guidelines for the assessment of operating theater ventilation systems, which focus on small particles (<10 mm). The results show that the local system can provide better air quality conditions near the wound area compared to a theoretical mixing situation (proof-of-principle). It cannot yet replace the standard unidirectional downflow systems as found for ultraclean operating theater conditions. It does, however, show potential for application in temporary and emergency operating theaters

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Language English
Published in Building and Environment
Year and volume 2016 102
Page range 26-38