South Florida Hospital News
Thursday May 28, 2020
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November 2014 - Volume 11 - Issue 5

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Why Our Facility May Be Making Our Patients Sicker!

With Ebola in the news lately, the importance of microbial contamination in one’s environment seems to have become a focal point of our consciousness, but, it’s always been the case. Mention infection rates in hospitals or any type of medical or assisted living facility and the buzzwords are all familiar. Germs, bacteria and virus control lead to clean and sanitize surfaces = healthy air. Wish it were always that simple.
 
One of the most neglected areas of concern is, in part, the facility itself. You do what you can on your own, of course, making certain that the rooms are spotless, the fabric on furniture is treated and you wash all the bedding materials. You mop, sweep and vacuum the floors and you practice the highest standards. All instruments are sanitized before use and workers wear rubber gloves. Congratulations! You’ve done everything in your control. But, what about what is out of your control? All your efforts may be naught if you are not devoting ample attention to the other aspects of the building including the ventilation equipment.
 
Your HVAC System may be making occupants sick. NADCA (The National Air Duct Cleaners Association) is arguably the world’s most respected authority on the inspection and cleaning of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and ductwork. NADCA sets standards for proper maintenance and cleaning practices. The question that should be asked is whether or not your building and its HVAC systems follow NADCA guidelines to maintain the upper hand in the ongoing challenge of keeping microorganisms to minimal levels. With this goal of clean and sanitary in mind, adherence to NADCA, brings you the bonus of guaranteeing that the most critical portions of your HVAC Air Conveyance System will be inspected. Think about it; we mop the floors, 365 days per year, although floors are located below your feet and not in the primary breathing zone, yet, most do not inspect the AC equipment which furnishes all of the air to your primary air breathing zone. You see the floors, but, never see the inside of the air conditioning equipment and duct system. I routinely find years of particulate accumulation including mold, skin flakes, post construction debris and insect parts to name a few. Often,
this condition creates ideal breeding grounds for odor generating micro organisms.
 
Additional to dirty ductwork, it should be pointed out that all AC ductwork leaks air. Did you know that leaking ductwork can be as bad or worse than dirty ductwork? Supply air leaks can cause condensation and subsequent mold. Leaks also force stagnant, musty, smelly, dirty, non-filtered wall cavity air to infiltrate into the facility’s air conditioned areas every time the HVAC system operates. Repair these leaks, improve indoor air quality and you will also save a substantial amount off your bottom line energy cost. Hospital energy savings can reach seven figures over a decade!
 
Indoor Air Quality can also be impacted by many other building conditions and activities. Many are mold problems resulting from ongoing or past water intrusions. Should this be the case, we provide Licensed Mold Remediation Services. We have Certified Indoor Environmentalists on staff to assist you and they can also help train your staff in indoor air quality with our training classes.
Air Duct Aseptics is a Class “A” AC Contractor, Licensed Duct Leak Diagnostics and Repair Specialists. We understand there is not an indoor air environment more critical than that of a hospital. Hospitals operate 24/7 occupied by sick people and we have the experience and knowledge required to solve Indoor Air challenges. We have been serving the medical community since 1990. Call us at 1-888-707-7763 to schedule a free consultation or visit us at www.ADAflorida.com. Michael Tebor is Vice President at Air Duct Aseptics.
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