Risk of Cross-Infection in a Hospital Ward with Downward Ventilation

Peter V. Nielsen, Yuguo Li, Morten Buus, Frederik Vildbrad Winther

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


A two-bed hospital ward with one standing healthcare person and a ceiling-mounted lowimpulse semicircular inlet diffuser is simulated in a full-scale room. Tracer gas is used for simulating gaseous contaminants, and the concentration is measured at different air change rates and different postures of the patients. A textile partition between the beds, which is typical in a hospital ward, is used for protection of the patients in some of the experiments. Three different layouts of return openings are tested. One layout with one opening at the ceiling, another with four openings at the wall opposite to the inlet diffuser, and one with a high location of these four openings. The downward recirculating flow is on average parallel with the partition, and in most cases the partition does not decrease cross-infection. A high location of the four return openings decreases the risk of cross-infection.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2008-2014
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Cross-infection
  • Downward ventilation
  • Return opening location
  • Hospital ward
  • Room air distribution
  • Full-scale experiments

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