Computer simulation and experimental assessment of the occupational thermal comfort in operating rooms

Nelson Rodriguesab, Sérgio Miguelbc, João Baptistac, Senhorinha Teixeirab
aMETRICS, University of Minho
bALGORITMI, University of Minho
cDepartment of Mining Engineering, FEUP

The presentation addressed the thermal comfort experienced by the health professionals when performing their activities, in operating rooms. For the study, an example room was selected from a hospital located in the Northern Region of Portugal. Operating rooms have controlled conditions that are focused on protecting the patient and health professionals from a biological point of view. An important factor contributor to this protection is the ventilation and the conditions practiced, such as low temperatures. While this parameter is monitored to avoid the patient's hypothermia, thermal comfort is also an important factor. When a professional experiences thermal comfort, is less prone to errors, reduces stress and potentiates concentration. The assessment of thermal comfort can be achieved through different methodologies, where the most appropriate methodologies were approached and explained. The first one was the direct assessment of thermal comfort, followed by the application of Fanger's index (Predicted Mean Vote/Predicted Percentage of Dissatisfied) and later on, a computer simulation of the thermal environment was performed. Focusing on the course thematic, the presentation showed how the ventilation parameters were accessed and used for the simulation. In the end, this practical application showed that simulation tools can achieve detailed information of the flow pattern, which can be used to study the propagation of COVID-19.