Carlos Eduardo González Feilberg has worked in UBA for over 32 years
Carlos Eduardo Gonzalez Filberg He is an expert in thermomechanical installations and works for University of Buenos Aires Since 1988, in cooperation with that institution, it has been conducting an alarm call An issue that is rarely mentioned: deficiencies in air treatment in both public and private health institutions that expose patients to hospital infections.
Gonzalez Filberg makes troubling diagnoses about the infrastructure of hospitals, clinics and other institutions where large numbers of people are treated every day: in dialogue with Infobae, say what “90% of the structures are outside the standards and do not meet the necessary requirements.”
“I saw operating rooms where it was hot, they opened the windows. Those who share air are banned internationally. There are places with equipment dividing the wall. They think the issue is air conditioning. This is wrong because you have to have outside air. If you do not renew the air after a while, the oxygen will be consumed and the particles in it will increase (there is no dilution of the air). This leads to fatigue and headaches for surgical personnel, and on the other hand, the patient’s potential for contamination increases dramatically. Environmental dust and aerosol production – which hangs for at least two hours in the air – generally upon contact with people, they become infected. This happens in all environments without filtering“, He adds.The expert warns about the shortcomings in air handling in both public and private health institutions
In this context, the guy decided to act and, together with UBA, made a promotion The national standard IRAM 80400 From the Argentine Institute of Standardization and Certification, which It regulates air treatment systems in healthcare facilities nationwide. In times of war against COVID-19, this is a very important issue, as the virus can spread through the air.
But it is also necessary to avoid complications with viruses, bacteria and other fungi that may be present in health centers and that are transmitted through circulating air, expectoration sprays, inhalation and expulsion of air from one person to another, and through the entry of external agents of polluting particles and gases, among other things. .
“If health institutions had calculated this rule and complied with it, the health worker infection and pollution among patients would have diminished.”, Says the specialist.These facility failures, she says, expose patients to hospital infection
The IRAM 80400 standard was introduced by UBA last March. Gonzalez Filberg says he has been working on the project for eight years. He even asserts that “the blueprint and the blueprint have already been around for two years,” but the problem was an occasion to give it momentum. “I couldn’t find the time to present the project, because sometimes you present one and then nothing comes up. I didn’t feel it. There are physical things and they are not all technical and you have to deal with yourself according to how the events happen.”
That right moment came with the emergence of the Corona virus: “When people started talking about the epidemic in mid-February last year, I said, ‘I am introducing al-Qaeda.’” I wrote it down and went with an envelope in my hand to the secretary. Within ten days, they gave me approval to start the committee.
After IRAM approved, technicians, companies, infectious disease physicians, hospital and business room engineering professionals, and government officials began working together to draft the regulations. The nonprofits that helped implement this standard and accompanied the UBA project are The Argentine branch of ASHRAE, the Argentine Association of Hospital Engineering and Engineering (AADAIH) and the Argentine Chamber of Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation (CACAAV).Together with the UBA, González Feilberg presented a project to regulate air treatment at the Argentine Institute for Standardization and Accreditation
That said, the initiative aims to: Reducing the amount of disease and infections in a typical hospital for each location, On the basis that “medical evidence has shown that adequate air conditioning and mechanical ventilation are beneficial in preventing many diseases.” This is how it is searched for Establish minimum requirements and advise on treated air conditions, temperature control, humidity, filtration, regeneration, recycling, energy and acoustic efficiency., Among other parameters.
This means making adjustments to hospitals, clinics and health facilities. Air quality depends not only on the equipment that will be installed, maintained and maintained, but also Existing facilities must be adapted Designs for buildings, buildings and distribution must also be modified, referring to hospital architecture. According to the forecasts made, the retrofitting of the buildings will be carried out “in a period of 5 to 7 years”.The first part of the regulation was published at the beginning of last month
So far, international standards such as ASHRAE (USA), UNE (Spain), ISO (Europe) DIN (Germany) or WHO recommendations have been followed in health centers in our country, ‘It is not sometimes adapted to Argentina need Implement it, or the equipment installed was not designed for these purposes, “they explained from UBA. “There were no regulations in Argentina that took into account the effects of air and the spread of microbes.”Gonzalez Felberg repeats.
The thermomechanical assembly factor also confirms that the standard will mean, in addition to reducing hospital illnesses, economic savings for enterprises:By controlling the air, in the surgical area, we will have less intensive treatment expense as the infection reducesBearing in mind that an intensive treatment day carries a significant dollar cost. With this one day savings, all the air handling unit filters are replaced, which must be replaced within a period of 6 months.The new rule will oblige that hospitals, clinics, and other health centers that do not meet the requirements must make adjustments to their structures.
On December 9, IRAM published the first part of the project, which consists of tables showing the amount of air movement each setting needs (ICU, Coronary Unit, Sentinel, etc.), the pressures it should be on, and the relative humidity. During these days, equipment and channels are identified, which is expected to be completed by next month. Then comes the discussion of automation, electrical installations and maintenance. The UBA advisor explains: “Then comes the certification of the standard so that there will be a group of people who will define and qualify the escort.”
“The thousand-kilometer road begins with the first step. If someone does not say what is right or wrong, it will not start anymore. Something must be done because so many people have died.”, Keeps Gonzalez Filberg. He says it from a feeling of pain that stems from within: His mother died after becoming infected in the intensive treatment room of a medical center in Florencio Varela.
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