Special Issue "Hospital Outdoor and Indoor Environmental Impact: Control Measures"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Nicola Nante Website E-Mail
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Italy
Interests: Management of health services; Environmental hygiene (healt impact assessment); Hospital hygiene

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hospitals, a “health producer” by definition, are one of the main polluting industries (Eckelman 2016). Pursuing the medical imperative "primun non nocere", hospital hygiene deals not only with the prevention and control of indoor risks for patients, operators and visitors, but also the risks to the external environment. It is estimated that hospitals produce about 15 kilos of solid waste (including lots of PVC) per bed. In the United States, hospitals produce more than 30 pounds of CO2 emissions per square foot (Lopez, 2017). The drugs administered to patients and their entry into waste water becomes a source of unknowm pollution, which is possible to reduce (Lupoli, 2012). In addition, the optimization of hospital construction and management techniques can reduce their environmental impact (Riedel, 2011). With regard to the indoor hospital environment, the greatest hygienic attention is directed to avoiding cross-contamination, and hand washing represents a cornerstone of hygienic practices, although it is disregarded. The introduction of new disinfection technologies is becoming more popular (Messina, 2017). An emerging problem is hospitals’ production of a new microbiological contamination: infections contracted inside the wards and projected outside. It is known that Staphylococcus Aureus Meticillin Resistant, born in the hospital, is spreading rapidly in the open community (Hawkes M, 2007). The problem, which also concerns other "drug resistant superbugs" (Escherichia Coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecium, etc.) is increasing. Potential sources of the infectious risks produced by hospitals for the external environment, including liquid and solid waste, have been kept under control for long time (WHO, 2019). Less manageable carriers of the emerging infectious risk in the greater community posed by superbugs, in addition to health care workers, are patients infected during hospitalization and not cleared before discharge (Verheyen, 2019). Little is known of the impact of this issue on health outcomes and costs at the territorial level, but stricter action is required (Wozniak TM, 2018). Quantifying the environmental impact of hospitals is important to determine the potential value of mitigation and harm associated with health care delivery. Reducing the environmental impact of health care may be considered an extension of efforts to improve health care quality by reducing unintended consequences (Chung, 2009).

To develop knowledge on the abovementioned themes, we are launching a call for contributions for the next Special Issue of IJERPH. In agreement with the mission of the journal, we therefore want to develop research on the impact of antropogenic factors on the quality of our environment, on the interaction between environmental health and the quality of human life, and on environmental stewardship and public health. Contributions from epidemiologists, ecologists, engineers, economists, etc., will be welcomed and we also encourage the submission of interdisciplinary and multicentric research.

Prof. Nicola Nante
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Hospital hygiene
  • Outdoor and indoor hospital environment
  • Environmental and health impact assessment
  • Emerging infections/antibiotic resistant bacteria/cross-contamination
  • Disinfection techniques
  • Decontamination

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Overheating Risk in Gynaecology Scanning Rooms during Near-Heatwave Conditions: A Case Study of the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3347; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183347 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
Hospital buildings in the UK are at particular risk to rising summer temperatures associated with climate change. Balancing the thermal needs of patients, staff, and visitors is a challenging, complex endeavour. A case study of the ultrasound area of the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s [...] Read more.
Hospital buildings in the UK are at particular risk to rising summer temperatures associated with climate change. Balancing the thermal needs of patients, staff, and visitors is a challenging, complex endeavour. A case study of the ultrasound area of the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Maternity and Gynaecology building is presented, where temperatures were measured for 35 days in waiting areas, staff offices, and ultrasound scanning rooms, aiming to assess the overheating risk posed to occupants. Local external temperature measurements were used for comparison whereby determining the indoor-outdoor environmental connection. Results show that most rooms had already breached standard overheating thresholds within the study period. Anthropogenic and waste heat from equipment has a noticeable effect on indoor temperatures. Local air-conditioning helped reduce the peaks in temperature seen between 14:00 and 17:00 for similar scanning rooms but is in contradiction to the National Health Service’s sustainability plans. Several low-level solutions such as improved signage, access to water, and the allocation of vulnerable patients to morning clinics are suggested. Barriers to solutions are also discussed and the requirement of sufficient maintenance plans for cooling equipment is empathised. These solutions are likely to be applicable to other hospital buildings experiencing similar conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hospital Outdoor and Indoor Environmental Impact: Control Measures)
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