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Air quality healthcare reforms actions implemented on healthcare construction sites to contain the dissipation of Aspergillus fungus and reduce hospital infections

Grant number: 17/08352-4
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: December 01, 2017 - September 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Construction Industry
Principal Investigator:Joao Paulo Roschel Torres
Grantee:Joao Paulo Roschel Torres
Host Company:Salix Engenharia Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Construção de edifícios
City: São Paulo
Pesquisadores principais:
Ingvar Ludwig Augusto de Souza ; Paulo Luiz Zangrande Vieira


This paper proposal is to reduce the impact that construction and reforms cause in healthcare environments. In this context six solutions are proposed to be applied in construction sites with the objective of containing the dispersion of particulates through the air, reducing the probability of contamination of patients and avoiding the dreaded and frequent hospital infections originated by this vector. Actually, this kind of concern is usually restricted to the hospital's infection control department generally led by infectious disease specialists. For Salix Engenharia, a company specialized in healthcare engineering focused on execution in restricted environment as hospitals, bring this kind of concern will be a market differential. This paper reports a project innovation that prove scientifically effective ways to contain particulates from works and reforms. Several surveys conducted in different countries report the dissipation in air of Aspergillus fungus (one of the causes of hospital infections in immunodepressed patients) caused by construction. In a scientific paper, Sautour et al. (2007), stated after air quality measurements that during a period when a hospital construction occurred, there was an increase in the amount of fungus in the air of an adult hematology unit close to this construction. In another measurement of the air quality diffused in scientific circles, an implosion of a building attached to a hospital resulted in a great increase of Aspergillus fungus concentration in the air, according to Barreiros et al. (2015). The proposed methodology is the measurement of air quality of healthcare environments in normal operation (Measurement I), in order to obtain an amount of colony forming units (cfu) of the Aspergillus fungus in standard hospital operation without execution of works. Then, the same measurement of the air quality will occur with the execution of construction close to the measurement site. At this second moment of measurement, the works should follow the standard procedure stipulated by the hospital and the construction company, without any intervention of the researcher. In this way, a quantity of cfu of Aspergillus will be obtained in an environment without reforms (Measurement I) and in an environment with reforms (Measurement II), therefore, it will be possible to identify the real impact of reforms and works on increasing the amount of cfu of the fungus Aspergillus. Three hospitals from São Paulo will be selected, these sites must have reforms during the period of the research and will serve as a base of field measurement to the researcher. The second stage of the research, which will be part of PHASE 2 of the PIPE - FAPESP project, will be the application of six solutions in healthcare fields to contain the dispersion of particulates. The air quality measurements will be performed near to the construction sites to identify the effectiveness of each solution. The innovation of the project will be to qualify each of the six solutions, with a scientific database, according to its effectiveness in containing the Aspergillus fungus and adopting the best of the six solutions that will be convenient according to the criticality of the place where will be performed the healthcare work. For instance, a work in a surgical center should have different and more rigorous care than a work on a ward. The measurements will have the technical assistance of the molecular mycology laboratory of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo. Racine Tadeu Araújo Prado, professor of the polytechnic school of the Universidade de São Paulo, will coordinate the project and will contribute to the research excellence with his technical/scientific skills. (AU)

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