Medical and research laboratories need to be kept free from any particulate matter that may result in contamination. The working stations need to be kept sterile devoid of any contaminants. Laminar Air Flow Cabinets are utilized in blockage of the invasion of foreign matter and dust particles into the working station thus keeping the place sterile. Parenteral preparation needs to be prepared in very sterile environments to prevent contamination. The Laminar hoods are used in the preparation of parenteral preparation since the devices are capable of dividing the air that flows through it into layers. The air is then got rid of the bacteria and microorganisms contamination. Medical facilities such ashospitals use the laminar flow cabinetsto protect patients with the compromised immune system from possible infections.
Why have the Laminar Flow Devices?
The laminar air flow hoods provide an excellent working environment free from particulate matter. Some medical laboratory activities such as the manufacture of parenteral preparations require a highly sterile environment that is free from contaminants. The hood devices are equipped with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters manufactured from stainless steel. The filters provide a germ-free environment effective in the manufacture of IV preparations. The HEPA filters are highly effective and can remove particulate matter that measures 0.3 microns.
The laminar flow hoods make sure that the specimen, sample or products inside the cabinet are kept free from any particulate matter that may lead to their contamination. A lot of labs involved in medical, pharmaceutical, industrial and educational environment install these devices to keep the environment clean.
How to ensure that the hoods are in a good working condition.
The HEPA filters must be changed every month to ensure that they are in correct working condition.
The laminar flow must be having a dual DC motor since this emits low heat. The low heat emission helps in cutting down the operational costs.
Expensive hoods have “a Night Set-Back” which must be kept closed to help extend the life of the filters. The special feature helps in reducing the air flow by 30 percent.
Types of the Laminar air flow hoods.
The vertical hood- featured with a top mounted filter system, the hood cleans the working station using two different procedures. It pushes air the air vertically protecting the user from contaminants that might be present in the air. The filtered air is blown from the top of the flow device down onto the working area keeping it away from the user. The air is then got rid of the working station through the holes found in the cabinet’s base. The user should be in a protective clothing and gloves to enhance his protection from the harm materials.
The Horizontal hoods- air is passed through the filter in a horizontal direction going towards the user. The horizontal flow of air helps keep the environment free from contamination. Horizontal flow hoods do not require the user to be in a protective clothing and a double set of gloves when working.
Which of these places need to be kept free from contaminants by laminar flow hoods?
The operating room
A hospital room
A doctor’s pharmacy.
Tips for people working with dangerous chemicals:
Remember to provide written instructions nearby. The written protocols on how these devices work should be kept close to each unit to be used by students, maintenance team or any other users of the hood. The costs involved are not much, but it is worth ensuring that everybody is informed on how to stay safe while working with dangerous chemicals.
Before any use, check the hood to ensure that is not malfunctioning. The device needs to be functional to be able to remove potentially dangerous air fumes and ventilate the volatile chemicals.
Remember to keep sashes closed, this helps fume residues from the previous sessions from entering the lab.
Keep the flow hoods in an area with minimal distractions. The flow hoods should be placed in areas with less traffic in the lab.
The laboratory staff should also ensure that nothing obstructs the laminar flow exhaust system.
Reduce clutter by minimizing the number of items that are placed on the working station of the hood.