Computer modeling of the operating room ventilation performance in connection with surgical site infection

Document Type: Article


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY


Surgical site infection (SSI) is a critical source of post-surgical complications in hospitals which affects 2.6% of all surgeries. The primary source of SSI is the deposition of flakes released from the exposed skin of the surgical staff or the patient on the exposed surgical wound. There is considerable interest to design an appropriate ventilation system to minimize SSI. In this study, a computational model for simulating the airflow and thermal conditions in an operating room is developed, and the transport and deposition of particulate contaminants near the surgical wound are analyzed. The results show the formation of a thermal plume over the wound tissue, which is typically at higher temperature than the surrounding. The thermal plume protects the wound from deposition of falling contaminants. The effects of particle size, surgical lights characteristics, and presence of partitions on the optimum inlet air velocity are also studied. Based on the results, the formation of thermal plume over the surgical lamps may easily disturb the ventilation airflow and impresses the optimum inlet air velocity accordingly. The present study provides a better understanding of airflow pattern and transport process in the operating rooms equipped with the UCV systems.


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