Head of the ICU Quality Control Office, Medical Service Coordination Department / Takeshi Ishii
Infection control at medical service sites
In response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Toranomon Hospital implements its own measures
to prevent infection. Currently, three Aeropure units are in operation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Mr. Takeshi Ishii, Head of the ICU Quality Control Office, has high expectations for the latest model
currently under development.
"ICU," the heart of medical treatment for serious cases
Toranomon Hospital is the central hospital of the Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Associations, offering a broad range of medical services with specialists in each field, including cancer treatment, liver disease treatment, critical care, and disaster medicine.
Since April 2020, the hospital has accepted coronavirus patients and at the same time, expanded the infection control measures and implemented zoning to isolate coronavirus patients from regular hospital patients. The masks and face shields worn by staff members are sterilized thoroughly using ultraviolet irradiation devices, and particle counters have also been introduced to check breath leakage from the masks.
“I feel the present situation overlaps in some way with the state of a hospital in Singapore that I visited for study training in 2007. It is still fresh in our memory that there was an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Singapore in 2003. At that time, I observed the infection control measures taken by the local major hospital,” says Mr. Takeshi Ishii, Head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Quality Control Office of Toranomon Hospital.
The role of the ICU is to accept and care for emergency outpatients with serious conditions and patients whose treatment is diffcult in the general ward. It is, as it were, the heart of a hospital.
“If a cluster infection occurs within the ICU,causing it to be out of use, the overall function of the hospital will be significantly diminished. Since last year, we have been feeling very tense each day.”
Space disinfection system for general companies and public facilities
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan has published safety guidelines for ICUs, which touch on infection control for patient rooms, air conditioning, etc., and recommend that the minimal level of equipment be maintained. However, it was not good enough to just follow the standard level stated in the guidelines, Mr. Ishii purchased three units of Aeropure made by Nikkiso in December 2020 and installed them in the ICU.
“Aeropure is a product made by a medical equipment manufacturer that provides us with a sense of security. As long as there is a power source, it can be used anywhere. Such convenience is an attractive point. It is also easy to move the unit around, which does not disturb hospital staff’s work.” Aeropure does not require filter changes, and such ease of maintenance was welcomed by the clinical site.
Mr. Ishii is also focusing on Aeropure Duct, which is currently under development. This product is a space disinfection system to be installed in an air conditioning duct. Similar to Aeropure, the product contributes to the removal of viruses, odors, and allergenic substances, and there is no need for major retrofit work.
“It is not always possible to install high-performance air flters comparable to those in hospitals into the air conditioning systems of general companies and public facilities. So, I am looking forward to the deployment of Aeropure Duct as soon as possible.”