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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 124064, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/124064
Review Article

Preventing Airborne Disease Transmission: Review of Methods for Ventilation Design in Health Care Facilities

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 122-6250 Applied Science Lane, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 103-6250 Applied Science Lane, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
3School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 364-2206 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2058-6250 Applied Science Lane, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4

Received 1 February 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011

Academic Editor: Tong-Ming Fu

Copyright © 2011 Amir A. Aliabadi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Health care facility ventilation design greatly affects disease transmission by aerosols. The desire to control infection in hospitals and at the same time to reduce their carbon footprint motivates the use of unconventional solutions for building design and associated control measures. This paper considers indoor sources and types of infectious aerosols, and pathogen viability and infectivity behaviors in response to environmental conditions. Aerosol dispersion, heat and mass transfer, deposition in the respiratory tract, and infection mechanisms are discussed, with an emphasis on experimental and modeling approaches. Key building design parameters are described that include types of ventilation systems (mixing, displacement, natural and hybrid), air exchange rate, temperature and relative humidity, air flow distribution structure, occupancy, engineered disinfection of air (filtration and UV radiation), and architectural programming (source and activity management) for health care facilities. The paper describes major findings and suggests future research needs in methods for ventilation design of health care facilities to prevent airborne infection risk.