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Aerosol release distribution and prevention during aerosol therapy a simulated model for infection control

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journal contribution
posted on 28.03.2022, 11:18 authored by Marc Mac Giolla Eain, Ronan Cahill, Ronan MacLoughlinRonan MacLoughlin, Kevin Nolan
Aerosol therapy is used to deliver medical therapeutics directly to the airways to treat respiratory conditions. A potential consequence of this form of treatment is the release of fugitive aerosols, both patient derived and medical, into the environment and the subsequent exposure of caregivers and bystanders to potential viral infections. This study examined the release of these fugitive aerosols during a standard aerosol therapy to a simulated adult patient. An aerosol holding chamber and mouthpiece were connected to a representative head model and breathing simulator. A combination of laser and Schlieren imaging was used to non-invasively visualize the release and dispersion of fugitive aerosol particles. Time-varying aerosol particle number concentrations and size distributions were measured with optical particle sizers at clinically relevant positions to the simulated patient. The influence of breathing pattern, normal and distressed, supplemental air flow, at 0.2 and 6 LPM, and the addition of a bacterial filter to the exhalation port of the mouthpiece were assessed. Images showed large quantities of fugitive aerosols emitted from the unfiltered mouthpiece. The images and particle counter data show that the addition of a bacterial filter limited the release of these fugitive aerosols, with the peak fugitive aerosol concentrations decreasing by 47.3-83.3%, depending on distance from the simulated patient. The addition of a bacterial filter to the mouthpiece significantly reduces the levels of fugitive aerosols emitted during a simulated aerosol therapy, p≤ .05, and would greatly aid in reducing healthcare worker and bystander exposure to potentially harmful fugitive aerosols.

History

Comments

The original article is available at https://www.tandfonline.com/

Published Citation

Mac Giolla Eain M, Cahill R, MacLoughlin R, Nolan K. Aerosol release, distribution, and prevention during aerosol therapy: a simulated model for infection control. Drug Deliv. 2021;29(1):10-17.

Publication Date

28 December 2021

PubMed ID

34962221

Department/Unit

  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Version

  • Published Version (Version of Record)