Air hygiene in hospitals

Emslie, John A. N (1967) Air hygiene in hospitals. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is in two main parts - a review and a report. In the review, the development of air hygiene as a hospital discipline is recounted before current principles and practices are discussed. The principles of airborne infection are considered under the headings of sources and dispersal, environmental transmission, and colonization and infectivity. Similar headings are used to outline methods of control. Brief comments are included to complete the review on the types of pathogens most commonly involved in airborne infection and on the equipment and methods for use in studying them. In the report section, details are recorded of several different investigations. A series of experiments with artificially produced aerosols demonstrated the fallacy of using a single index of measurement for naturally ventilated atmospheres, although such aerosols are useful for determining experimentally the transfer of airborne bacteria throughout a building. Also demonstrated were the inconsistencies to be found when colony-counts are performed, when unmatched slit-samplers are used together, when air-sampling is done by means of tubing attached to split-samplers, and when the concentration of aerial contaminants in a whole room is estimated by inferences from an observed concentration at only one site in the room. A bacteriological method is described for evaluating a simple photometer with which the bactericidal light output (2537 A wavelength) of commercial ultraviolet light tubes can be tested. Finally, details and observations are recorded of a few studies of naturally occurring aerial contamination in wards and in operating theatre suites. It is concluded that much is known already about airborne infection in hospitals but that relatively little has been done to apply this knowledge to establish more hygienic conditions. The benefits to be derived from improved conditions cannot always be measured to everyone's satisfaction but, as a general rule, any structural and functional change which reduces either the production or the concentration of aerial contaminants should be adopted whenever possible. The acquisition of new knowledge and the refinement of that available at present is likely to be difficult because of the numerous and interdependent aspects of airborne infection. Probably this will require the establishment of special facilities. However, the most vital change of all which is needed is in the mental attitude to air hygiene shown by the medical, nursing and domestic staffs most immediately involved in protecting the health of patients.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: A M Meiver
Keywords: Medicine
Date of Award: 1967
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1967-72581
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06

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