Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experimental and Computational Investigation of Surgical Environment Air Distribution
by McNeill, James Shiveley, Jr., Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2020, 323; 27740166
Abstract (Summary)

Surgical environments require a high level of control to mitigate the possibility for sepsis of the patient during surgical procedures. ASHRAE and other professional organizations provide guidance and standards for the design of HVAC systems for hospital operating rooms. This work evaluates the air distribution of operating rooms used for Class C surgical procedures through several means. First, thermal and fluid boundary conditions were collected in field tests. Evaluation of the air distribution was conducted using flow visualization, particle image velocimetry and particle deposition experiments in a full-scale mockup of an operating room. A CFD model was developed to represent the air distribution and particle dispersion. The sensitivity and performance impact of system design parameters is conducted in a parametric analysis of the CFD models.

This work provides a major contribution in the development of boundary conditions and CFD modeling techniques for air flow and particle transport in the surgical environment. It was determined that CFD models using RANS with RNG k-e turbulence models are effective at modeling the air distribution patterns. The surgical site temperature was found to be 25.6 +/- 2.1 C, which is well below the adjacent skin temperature. A buoyant plume from the surgical site was not observed in either physical experiments or computational models.

This research provides several key findings in the performance of hospital operating room air systems. Data from both full-scale experiments and CFD models shows that the air distribution patterns are highly sensitive to the Archimedes number of the supply air jets. The results show that maintaining the Archimedes number close to 1 ensures the performance of the sterile field. Both the surgical table and back table are susceptible to particle deposition. Particle deposition is most likely from adjacent source releases, but particles may be transmitted from outside of the sterile field to the surgical table.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zhai, Zhiqiang (John)
Commitee: Hertzberg, Jean R, Krarti, Moncef, Brandemuehl, Michael J, Pak, Ronald Y S
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Architectural engineering
Keywords: Aerosol, Air distribution, CFD, Operating room, PIV, Surgical site infection
Publication Number: 27740166
ISBN: 9798645453039
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