Operating Room Pressures
Operating Room Pressures
I am an RN and acting OR Coordinator in a small OSC in Florida. We have to maintain at least 15 air changes per hour in our ORs and they have to be at positive pressure to at least .01". This is according to our industry specs I have read. Temp and humidity are also a part of the equation. We have a guy that comes in and checks these and other things. I want unbiased advice, so here are my questions:
1. He puts a big blue canvas thing up the the vents to read the airflow. First, what is that and is that the best way to read the actual air flow/changes in the room. It is reported to us in CFM and then converted by some program he uses into ACH (air changes per hour??)
2. He has a rubber tube attached to a small device that is inserted under the door from the corridor, into the OR That apparently gives him the pressure for the OR. i'm assuming since he is outside the OR, it is comparing it to the pressure in the corriodor. Is that the normal way of doing that?
3. The ACH seem to fluctuate (sometimes a little and sometimes a lot) each time he comes. Sometimes the pressure is above .01" according to his report. But at other times, it is down to around .004" which means our OR is not compliant. Why does this happen? He has suggested that if the returns are too high, then it affects the pressure. Looking back on the reports. It does seem that when the returns are at about 60% of supply, the room is fine in respect to pressure. But, when the returns get up to 80% of the supply the pressure seems to dip down. Is it merely a result of the supply/return relationship? Why do the return CFMs go up and down?
4. There was one instance where he checked a soiled utility room that is supposed to be negative in respect to the OR corridor. There is a supply and an exhaust vent in the room. At the time he checked it, there was more supply than there was exhaust. This made the room positive he said, and I did see by a tissue test that the air was flowing into the corridor. According to him, even though the supply was providing more than the 10 ACH needed for the space it also didn't have enough of the right ACH. He said the ACH needed to be supported by the exhaust...not the supply. Is this right??
I know this is long, but I really do need help here because I really do want to understand and make sure we're not just spending money on things we don't need.
Thanks for any help you can give!!!