Regardless of the ‘air quality’ within an ICU ward, minimising the airflow out of it is essential for reducing the risk of airborne contagion spread.
One way this is achieved is through minimising the air permeability of a room, another is by negatively-pressurising a room which in itself cannot be effectively achieved without a suitably low air permeability value. Minimising air permeability is therefore doubly essential.
Air permeability is defined as the volume of air entering or exiting a room per hour per square metre of room envelope given a certain differential pressure, usually taken to be 50 Pa (Pascals are a unit of measure for air pressure).
Currently, when hospitals monitor the efficacy of their negative pressurisation, they do so using a pressure monitor. This tells hospital staff, providing they are checking it regularly, whether the air pressure in the ICU ward is at a suitable level. If the pressure drops below a certain level, sometimes these monitors are set up to an alarm system.
The ‘Patch & Hope’ Problem
In March 2020 the world was forced to stop, readjust, and overcome the barriers this virus has inflicted upon us all. Whilst it has sadly been a tragedy for so many people, businesses, households, and livelihoods, it has by no means stopped great British ideas, ingenuity, and innovation. The 5.9 million UK SMEs, which make up 99 per cent of all business, generating 54 per cent of all UK employment, have demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of such adversity, and are at the forefront of the government’s Levelling-Up agenda in the post-Covid-19 world that we are all so looking forward to. The NHS went into this crisis with 10,000 ICU beds. Today it is managing over 30,000.
Whilst this past year has proved an insurmountable obstacle to overcome for
so many, there is now light at the end of the tunnel, that through innovation and collective unity, we can all come together and rebuild stronger than before.