Modelling infection spreading control in a hospital isolation room
Carla Balocco, Pietro Liò
DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2010.37089   PDF    HTML     7,040 Downloads   12,858 Views   Citations


This paper investigates the airflow patterns connected to different cough conditions, the effects of these arrangements on the regions of droplet fallout and dilution time of virus diffusion of coughed gas. We focus on some of the physical processes that occur in a double bed hospital isolation room, investigating the effect of the ventilation system on the spread of particles in air. A cough model was carried out and used for the numerical simulation of virus diffusion inside an existent isolation room. Transient simulations of air pattern diffusion and air velocity field, provided by the existing typical HVAC primary air system designed for infectious patients, were performed using CFD. A multiphysics approach, combined Convection-Conduction, Incompressible Navier-Stokes models on non-isothermal air flow and Convection-Diffusion, was used. Simulations results highlighted that the flow field and velocity distribution induced by the high turbulence air inlet diffuser combined with the air return diffusers produce wide recirculation zones near the wall and partial stagnation areas near the ceiling and between the two beds, but lower particle concentration in the room and their shorter spreading distance. This type of analysis is certainly cost effective to identify all the air recirculation zones which can harbour lingering pathogens.

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Balocco, C. and Liò, P. (2010) Modelling infection spreading control in a hospital isolation room. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 3, 653-663. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2010.37089.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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