A study on performances of different ventilation schemes provided by vertical and horizontal uni-directional air flow was carried out in a standard orthopaedic operating theatre (OT). Starting from our previous studies of a real OT under operating use conditions, in this research different air flow configurations, considering some air curtain solutions on the ceiling and at the sliding door always assumed to be open as a basic boundary condition, were investigated by numerical simulations. Indoor air quality (IAQ) indexes and thermal comfort parameters, deduced from simulation results were calculated and discussed referring to the best performance and efficacy between the air flow schemes to contrast the incorrect use conditions of the OT. Referring to the studied schemes, the reciprocal comparison emphasizes that a successful outcome in preventing surgical site infection can depend as much on resolving human factors (i.e. operational use conditions, door opening/closing), as on overcoming physical and technical obstacles.
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