Illnesses with airborne transmission vectors have been in the news, especially in the last couple of years. The current state-of-the-art for airborne particle containment is to encumber healthcare staff with bulky personal protective equipment (PPE) or create negative pressure isolation rooms. Bulky PPE can limit visibility and make routine tasks more difficult. Negative pressure isolation rooms are expensive to build and require carefully engineered HVAC systems. The VentBoard is a patent pending source-focused air filtration system that reduces the airborne infectious particles for the protection of healthcare workers, patients, and visitors. Utilizing a headboard design that pulls air from the breathing space of the patient through a HEPA filtration system, the VentBoard exhausts clean filtered air back into the room. Drawing air across the patient’s breathing space reduces the chance for airborne particles to be distributed around the room and inhaled by other occupants.
The VentBoard design is based on ventilated headboard research done at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). CDC/NIOSH presented a built-it-yourself headboard concept coupled with a purchased HEPA filtration system. For roughly the same cost as the time and materials to build the less durable concept, our VentBoard is an improvement in several important ways:
- The VentBoard is a complete system that can be deployed in a matter of minutes using only basic tools.
- The VentBoard mounts to the most popular bedframes in U.S. long term care facilities. Raising and lowering with height-adjustable beds it stays in the most effective position relative to the bed-occupant. The design can be quickly adapted to work in other settings.
- The VentBoard is easy to disinfect. Disassembly of major components allows for complete disinfection.
This technology is effective. Research done by CDC/NIOSH indicates use of a ventilated headboard can be more effective for healthcare worker safety than the healthcare worker wearing an N95 mask. The VentBoard controls aerosols at their source rather than drawing infectious particles into the breathing space of people like ceiling mounted vents or other in-room filtration units can. Quick to install, easy to maintain, and effective, the VentBoard can reduce the chance of exposure to airborne infectious particles for residents, healthcare workers, and visitors. The VentBoard can easily be an added measure in existing infection prevention protocols.
The concept of localized negative air pressure is covered above. Also covered in our patent is the idea of localized positive air pressure. In the positive air pressure configuration, the VentBoard can deliver filtered air to the breathing space of an individual in bed. This has applications for anyone who would benefit from breathing fresh, filtered air. This could be in a natural disaster situation like wildfires. In a safety shelter with high smoke particulate count, a VentBoard could deliver clean filtered air to a person with compromised lungs in a cot.