Investigation of infectious droplet dispersion in a hospital examination room cooled by split-type air conditioner

Abstract

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak has spread worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic in March 2020. The transmission mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor environments has begun to be investigated in all aspects. In this regard, many numerical studies on social distancing and the protection of surgical masks against infection risk have neglected the evaporation of the particles. Meanwhile, a 1.83 m (6 feet) social distancing rule has been recommended to reduce the infection risk. However, it should be noted that most of the studies were conducted in static air conditions. Air movement in indoor environments is chaotic, and it is not easy to track all droplets in a ventilated room experimentally. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) enables the tracking of all particles in a ventilated environment. This study numerically investigated the airborne transmission of infectious droplets in a hospital examination room cooled by a split-type air conditioner with the CFD method. Different inlet velocities (1, 2, 3 m/s) were considered and investigated separately. Besides, the hospital examination room is a model of one of the Bursa Uludag University Hospital examination rooms. The patient, doctor, and some furniture are modeled in the room. Particle diameters considered ranged from 2 to 2000 μm. The evaporation of the droplets is not neglected, and the predictions of particle tracks are shown. As a result, locations with a high infection risk were identified, and the findings that could guide the design/redesign of the hospital examination rooms were evaluated.

Description

© The Author(s) 2024. cc-by

Keywords

Airborne Transmission, Droplet Dispersion, Hospital Examination Room, SARS-CoV-2, Split-Type Air Conditioner, Computational Fluid Dynamics

Citation

Yuce, B.E., Kalay, O.C., Karpat, F., Alemdar, A., Temel, S.G., Dilektasli, A.G., Baskan, E.B., Ozakin, C., & Coskun, B.. 2024. Investigation of infectious droplet dispersion in a hospital examination room cooled by split-type air conditioner. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40201-024-00905-1

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