Dear Dr Nardell
A London colleague, James Seddon, has recently suggested that I contact you to see if you can advise on an effective low cost room air exchange systems for isolation of our TB patients and , potentially, suspects with VHF.
I work at the MRC Unit The Gambia where I am head of our clinical services dept. We manage a wide range of medical and paediatric problems including a significant number of TB patients admitted via our out-patient department or identified through one of our many TB studies.
We have two very basic, isolation rooms in which we manage SSP TB cases. Over the last few years we are starting to see an increasing number of patients with MDRTB although the numbers are small cf other regions in s-S Africa. Additionally, with the recent large outbreak of Ebola in the adjacent subregion we are aware of the need to improve our isolation rooms for managing any suspect VHF cases in the future. We are fortunate in that we have a relatively well resourced facility with 24 hour electricity and a skilled, on-site bio-engineering dept.
I recently applied for and successfully gained additional funds (~ $150,000) to upgrade our existing facility and had hoped to convert them into two AIIR, with dedicated bathrooms, a clean ante-room for donning PPE and an exit room for disposal of waste, doffing PPE and removal of bodies if required.
However, I have been advised by a number of colleagues, especially in S Africa, that we should aim to keep the facility is simple as possible and avoid a high tech air exchange system since they frequently malfunction. Additionally I now realize that we have significantly underestimated the build costs! I am therefore interested to know if there are any alternative, low cost but effective air exchange systems that we could incorporate into a rebuild of our exiting isolation rooms.
Any suggestions or advice you have to offer will be much appreciated.
Dr Suzanne Anderson MRCPCH, PhD
Head of Clinical Services
MRC Unit The Gambia
Atlantic Road, Fajara
PO Box 273 Banjul
Tel: +220 4496188<tel:%2B220%204496188>
Cell Gambia: +220 313 3488<tel:%2B220%20313%203488>
Cell UK: +44 7817224261<tel:%2B44%207817224261>
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