Effects of patient room layout on viral accruement on healthcare professionals' hands

Amanda M. Wilson, Marco Felipe King, Martín López-García, Ian J. Clifton, Jessica Proctor, Kelly A. Reynolds, Catherine J. Noakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are exposed to highly infectious viruses, such as norovirus, through multiple exposure routes. Understanding exposure mechanisms will inform exposure mitigation interventions. The study objective was to evaluate the influences of hospital patient room layout on differences in HCPs' predicted hand contamination from deposited norovirus particles. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations of a hospital patient room were investigated to find differences in spatial deposition patterns of bioaerosols for right-facing and left-facing bed layouts under different ventilation conditions. A microbial transfer model underpinned by observed mock care for three care types (intravenous therapy (IV) care, observational care, and doctors' rounds) was applied to estimate HCP hand contamination. Viral accruement was contrasted between room orientation, care type, and by assumptions about whether bioaerosol deposition was the same or variable by room orientation. Differences in sequences of surface contacts were observed for care type and room orientation. Simulated viral accruement differences between room types were influenced by mostly by differences in bioaerosol deposition and by behavior sequences when deposition patterns for the room orientations were similar. Differences between care types were likely driven by differences in hand-to-patient contact frequency, with doctors' rounds resulting in the greatest predicted viral accruement on hands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1657-1672
Number of pages16
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • exposure
  • fomite
  • health care
  • human behavior
  • virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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