Muscat: Better air quality can reduce the chances of getting sick and cut growing healthcare bills, doctors at the Health Expo said.
According to Dr. Yahya Al Farsi, associate professor of Medicine at Sultan Qaboos University, nearly 21 to 23 million people visit hospitals annually as outpatients in Oman and face contracting diseases due to the pathogens in the air they breathe while in hospitals.
“We have some very good systems and procedures in place; however, we see that after a certain level we can’t move forward in purifying air and our systems are not effective enough. The time has come to adopt new techniques to improve air quality in Oman. We have to do much more to improve air quality, especially in schools, hospitals and other public places, where transferring germs through the air is very easy,” he said.
While hospitals have systems to control chemical impurities by filtering them, harmful microorganisms carried by individuals mostly go undetected and are predominantly the reason for transfer of germs through air in hospitals or schools.
Dr. Linda Lee is a certified indoor air quality manager and has an experience of 30 years in the healthcare industry. She is promoting a product VidaShield, which has a proven record of clearing biological pathogens from indoor air.
“Air is possibly the biggest contributor to several air borne diseases, such as flu, bloodstream infection and pneumonia. Of course, there are other contributors but just by clearing the air of dangerous pathogens can have a significant impact on community health.
“We often see people getting sick only by visiting someone at a hospital. As we know the number of people who come in as outpatients are high. Imagine if even a small percentage of these people contracting diseases due to the air not being filtered. This can have very high financial costs, as well as effect the productivity of individuals,” she added. VidaShield is a UV-C air purifier designed to filter air 24/7 and reduce bacteria and fungi from air. The patented device is a simple plug and run device that presents ideal performance in a 10x10x8ft room four times per hour. It can be installed specially in areas of high contamination and density and places that house high risk patients, such as hospitals.
“Infections can come from pathogens carried anyone. A person entering a room has their complete biological footprint being brought into the room. If the person is infected, he is capable of transferring a disease to another by just being there. So although places, especially hospitals, have systems in place that restrict harmful substances moving around, we need to address the issue of biological transfer of these pathogens. We do not claim this will clear all pathogens in the air, but it will have a significant impact. There are thousands of people, who die in the United States, just due to such diseases. Saving even a small percentage will be a big number,” Lee said.
“We sometimes forget the financial savings this can bring us. Having such diseases being transferred is a huge cost to whoever has to bear them. Products, such as VidaShield, will help in saving resources in the long run,” SQU’s Al Farsi said.
According to research conducted at SQU, bloodstream infection and pneumonia are the most frequently occurring infections caused by hospital-acquired multi drug resistant organisms.
Cyclone group is the distributor for VidaShield in Oman.