Avidicare uses a patented technology called Temperature Controlled Airflow (TAF).
This technology enables Opragon to use gravity to reliably control the temperature of the airflow in operating rooms and thereby reduce bacteria-carrying particles in the whole room. More clearly; TAF creates a more reliable and effective ventilation system than a LAF (Laminar Airflow) ceiling, which requires higher air speeds to counteract the convection currents from the staff and equipment. Compared to traditional mixing ventilation systems, Opragon needs less air to maintain ultra-clean conditions, while allowing more comfortable operating clothes.
The drawbacks of LAF Ceilings
The European hospital standard for ultra-clean ventilation systems was previously LAF ceilings. The drawback of these LAF ceilings is that they take up a large proportion of the ceiling surface and often need higher air speeds to be able to counteract the bacteria flow in the operating room. Higher airspeeds of course also mean higher use of energy, which costs money, harms nature and produces noise and draught that disturb the surgical team. Furthermore, a LAF ceiling only protects the middle of the room, while Opragon keeps the whole room ultra-clean. Discover Opragon here.
The drawbacks of mixed ventilation systems
Traditional mixed ventilations systems are not able to reliably create and maintain ultra-clean conditions during surgery, especially at lower air change rates (20 ACH). Even with very high rates (60 ACH), ultra-clean is only reliably achieved in combination with very tight clothing systems. This has a negative impact on comfort and cost.
How does TAF work?
To ensure that the air in the operating room remains uncontaminated, the convection flows from the staff and equipment must be broken. Otherwise, there is a risk of uncontrolled airborne bacteria dissemination. Ventilaton systems with a lower air speed pose a greater risk of not removing bacteria-carrying particles, which can lead to contamination of the air in the operative zone. Higher speeds, on the other hand, cause draught, noise, dehydration of the patient and staff, cooling of the patient, and turbulence that reduces the effect of the laminar airflow. These limitations of existing technology is precisely why we developed Opragon, which combines the classic mixed ventilation (which dilutes the number of bacteria-carrying particles) with a cooled unidirectional airflow. Combining the two systems in the same operating room produces extremely effective ventilation.
The technology behind TAF is based on the ventilation system pumping out slightly cooled air into a zone around the operating table. By taking advantage of the fundamental laws of nature, TAF breaks the convection currents in an effective and energy-efficient manner. Since cool air is denser than the surrounding warmer air, it drops towards the floor. The air speed is dictated by the temperature difference in the room. The system enables reliable and stable control of air movements, and thereby also the airflow's fall speed over the patient and the sterile-clad staff. The technology reduces the presence of bacteria-carrying particles in the operative zone while at the same time helping to create a comfortable working environment. It makes the temperature slightly cooler for sterile-clad staff and slightly warmer for other staff in the room.
The temperature difference dictates the speed
If the air, coming from the ventilation system, is cooler than the layer of air at the level of the operative zone, the ultra-clean air will drop down to the operative zone and thereby provide its protective effect. The convection currents are broken and the airborne bacteria are transported away from the patient and the sterile instruments. In order for the ultra-clean air to reach the operative zone, there must be a fall speed of about 0.25 m/s at the level of the operative zone. The speed at the operating table will vary depending on the temperature difference between the ultra-clean air and the ambient room air in the operating room.
During the development of Opragon, we determined that a temperature difference (ΔT value) of -1.5 to -3°C is required between the ultra-clean air and the ambient room air at the operating table to guarantee a fall speed of about 0.25 m/s at the level of the operating table. The technology continually checks to ensure that the ultra-clean air maintains a constant under temperature of 1.5–3°C regardless of the temperature of the ambient room air.