Hospital-acquired infections associated with poor air quality in air-conditioned environments

Daniela Pinheiro da Silva


Backgound and Objectives: Individuals living in cities increasingly spend more time indoors in air-conditioned
environments. Air conditioner contamination can be caused by the presence of aerosols from the external or internal
environment, which may be associated with disease manifestations in patients present in this type of environment.
Therefore, the aim of this review was to assess the air quality in air-conditioned hospital environments as a risk factor
for hospital-acquired infections – HAI – as the air can be a potential source of infection, as well as assess the exposure
of professionals and patients to different pollutants. Material and Methods: A literature review was performed in the
LILACS, MEDLINE, SCIELO, SCIENCE DIRECT databases, CAPES thesis database and Ministry of Health – Brazil, including
studies published between 1982 and 2008. The literature search was grouped according to the thematic focus, as follows: ventilation, maintenance and cleaning of systems that comprehend the environmental quality standard. Discussion and Conclusion: Outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections associated with Aspergillus, Acinetobacter, Legionella, and other genera such as Clostridium and Nocardia, which were found in air conditioners, were observed, thus indicating the need for air-conditioning quality control in these environments.


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