Monitoring of airborne bacteria and aerosols in different wards of hospitals – Particle counting usefulness in investigation of airborne bacteria

Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(4):670–673
[b]Introduction and objective[/b]. The presence of airborne bacteria in hospital environments is of great concern because of their potential role as a source of hospital-acquired infections (HAI). The aim of this study was the determination and comparison of the concentration of airborne bacteria in different wards of four educational hospitals, and evaluation of whether particle counting could be predictive of airborne bacterial concentration in different wards of a hospital. [b]Materials and method.[/b] The study was performed in an operating theatre (OT), intensive care unit (ICU), surgery ward (SW) and internal medicine (IM) ward of four educational hospitals in Isfahan, Iran. A total of 80 samples were analyzed for the presence of airborne bacteria and particle levels. [b]Results.[/b] The average level of bacteria ranged from 75–1194 CFU/m [sup]3[/sup] . Mean particle levels were higher than class 100,000 cleanrooms in all wards. A significant correlation was observed between the numbers of 1–5 µm particles and levels of airborne bacteria in operating theatres and ICUs. The results showed that factors which may influence the airborne bacterial level in hospital environments should be properly managed to minimize the risk of HAIs especially in operating theaters. [b]Conclusions.[/b] Microbial air contamination of hospital settings should be performed by the monitoring of airborne bacteria, but particle counting could be considered as a good operative method for the continuous monitoring of air quality in operating theaters and ICUs where higher risks of infection are suspected.