Does release position of bacteria-carrying particles influence contaminant distribution in an operating room?
Paper in proceeding, 2015

It is generally accepted that human skin is a source of bacterial dispersal and the most common cause of infection in sensitive indoor surgical environments such as operating rooms (ORs). Airborne particles carrying microorganisms are dispersed from the whole body, but with different release rates. Previous studies show that particle dispersal was occuring mainly from the lower part of the body, especially from the perineal area. Whether the release position influences particle distribution in the surgical area has not been well known. In this paper, two different particle launch positions, one from the head and neck and one from the perineum region and feet, were compared. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique was employed to solve the governing equations for airflow and particle distribution. The results indicate that particles released from the lower part of the body might easily rise by buoyancy forces. Several vortices generated by the main OR ventilation system may also bring particles from the lower part of the OR to the surgical area and increase the risk of infection.

Operating room

Contaminant distribution

Particle launch position

Computational fluid dynamics


Sasan Sadrizadeh

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Bengt Ljungqvist

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Services Engineering

Berit Reinmüller

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Services Engineering

Sture Holmberg

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Healthy Buildings 2015, HB 2015 Conference Proceedings

Vol. 2015-May

Healthy Buildings Europe 2015, HB 2015
Eindhoven, Netherlands,

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering

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8/6/2021 1