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  • Writer's pictureLisa V.

Infection control in confined spaces - when keeping a distance is not possible

We have all learned and accepted certain behaviours within the Corona crisis. Wear a mask, disinfect hands and keep your distance - but what if the latter is not possible?

Especially in small rooms where air volume is limited and ventilation is difficult, viruses can be present in high concentrations. According to a study by the University of Amsterdam, for example, a lift would have to be empty for up to 18 minutes to reduce the risk of infection. This means you could potentially become infected even if you ride alone in a previously used lift, enter an examination cubicle or get into a taxi directly after another passenger, which an infected person has just left before. In principle, masks offer protection, but minute aerosols can still enter the respiratory tract. Therefore, technologies have been developed that can drastically reduce or even eliminate the risk of infection indoors.

Situations in everyday life

Frequently, close contact cannot be avoided, including in the lifts at Lebenshilfe Freising e.V., as Dr Martin Weindl reports:

"We at Lebenshilfe Freising are very happy about all the technical innovations that make the everyday life of our assisted people with disabilities - with and without pandemic - as carefree as possible. Especially people with walking difficulties or wheelchair users are absolutely dependent on lifts. If it is now possible to use them without the risk of infection, this enables barrier-free living and makes our work for people with disabilities much easier."

But it is not only in lifts that a risk of infection can arise. All small spaces require special considerations in this regard:

"It doesn't matter if we are taking patients to a hospital or passengers home, you can't keep a distance in a taxi and complete disinfection of all surfaces is difficult to achieve. It was important to us to protect passengers and staff."

explains managing director Taner Ozkaya of Mein-Taxi Brandenburg, who has therefore equipped his vehicles with technology that protects all passengers.

But if even wearing masks is not possible, the use of technologies to clean the air in the room is unavoidable. For example, an examination by an ear, nose and throat specialist is rarely possible with a mask and also forces contact between doctor and patient in a confined space.

Technical innovation

One of the solutions used here is a development by oji Europe GmbH. HOCL air purification" renders viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces harmless. These devices create a protective atmosphere in which the risk of infection is virtually eliminated according to Henkel test series. In general, the use of such technologies is therefore sensible and necessary, especially in areas where it is not possible to keep a distance.

The HOCL used to clean the room air is the same substance that is produced by the immune system to fight infections and is used, among other things, as a nasal spray or in the treatment of inflammations in the mouth and throat area.

Public Relations @oji Europe | Lisa Voget |

Image material: Keith Brofsky from Canva Businesspeople in elevator 1&2, oji Europe product image

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