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LAMINAR AIRFLOW

Modern hospital hygiene focuses its interest in air-conditioning on a limited protection zone, in which air-borne germs must be excluded rigorously from operation wounds, and in which patients may continue to pose concrete dangers. One of the main objectives of any clean air flow system is to dilute the bacteria generated by the operating team and patient in the theatre and to create an Air flow pattern that carries contaminated air away from the operating table & entering surgical wounds. It is required that the entire aseptic environment of surgery in operating rooms be shielded securely from the surroundings by a sufficiently large low-turbulence displacement air flow.

A Laminar Flow System should contain three basic elements – a blower, a high efficiency air filter and a Plenum with a diffuser. The flow is called Laminar because the turbulent air upstream is changed by the filter, Plenum and diffuser into straight-line flow off the downstream face of the filter. Filtered air descends in a unidirectional flow over the patient, creating a “Clean Zone”, rapidly removing contamination generated within that zone and preventing entry of contaminated air.

“Hyline Mediconz” provides laminar flow with low turbulence (LTF) to obtain a protected area that encompasses the operating area and sterile instrument tables. It complies with DIN 1946-4, ASHRAE / ASHE standard 170-2008 & HTM 03-01 ventilation standard requirements. It is not just sufficient to pass air through HEPA filters to achieve Laminar flow of air. One requires a Plenum and a diffuser to achieve proper Laminar flow air, without which one can achieve only filtered air but turbulent in nature, which will result in contamination / SSI.

In the case of “Hyline Mediconz” Laminar air flow; the filtered air through the HEPA filters comes into a huge volume of space within the Plenum. The high quality diffuser secures the unidirectional airflow according to EN ISO 14644. The double layer textile screen constructed from specialized material, with more than 100 fibres/cm, ensures an even diffusion of air. The air, due to natural pressure passes through two Monofilament layers of diffusers, each filament having a different grid opening, resulting in a pressure difference between the two monofilament layers & the air above it, resulting in a laminar flow of air through the face of the diffuser. Thus in this manner, due to even diffusion of air, it avoids turbulences and thus prevents particles originating outside the clean zone from entering, resulting in post operative sepsis, which low cost materials – one layer diffusers / perforated sheets – cannot guarantee.

A vertical flow system has a superior performance and is more effective at reducing infection risks as that compared to that of a horizontal flow system. Normally a three-stage supply air filtration is required, with the first two filtration stages installed in the air handling unit (not part of the Laminar flow system) of at least class F5/ F7 and F9 filters and the third filtration stage, comprising of class H13 HEPA filters, which are part of the Laminar flow system.

The necessary size of the plenum / discharge area depends upon the functional requirements of the operating theatre, heat loads in the OT, volume of supply air, hence, is best determined by the users and HVAC consultants and us.