Final filtration in the operating theatres of the Maubeuge polyclinic

The Polyclinique du Parc, located in Maubeuge, is a medical and surgical clinic. This modern specialist medico-surgical center offers care tailored to the needs of its patients. The Polyclinique du Parc specializes in cancer treatment, visceral surgery, and bariatric surgery. 

Dalkia is in charge of air quality at the Maubeuge polyclinic

Dalkia is a subsidiary of the EDF Group, specializing in the heating operation sector. Nowadays the company also operates in other areas including air treatment and management of healthcare facilities. 

Antonio Sousa is assistant manager of the Maubeuge branch office: “We also have an area manager and 23 technicians. At the branch I am in charge, among other things, of the contracts for two polyclinics in the Maubeuge area relating to the heating, ventilation system, production of hot water for sanitary use, and the air extractors installed in the rooms and corridors.”

Better air quality in the operating theatres for patients and medical staff 

The Polyclinique du Parc in Maubeuge has a suite of 4 operating theatres. One of these theatres has an ISO 5 classification and the other three ISO 7. According to standard ISO 14644, the particle concentration levels must be very low in order to limit the introduction of particles into a room. 

However, the network of ventilation ducts, the ventilation units, and the shafts of the operating theatres at the polyclinic was very outdated and did not allow effective air filtration. In addition, theatres 1 and 2 had shared ventilation, preventing the air from being filtered at the endpoint, which over time adversely affected the quality of the air. The aging equipment caused particles to appear on the work surfaces of the operating theatres, threatening patient safety during surgery. 

So, the polyclinic’s technical manager called Dalkia to improve the quality of the air filtration without having to completely change the ventilation system.  

Antonio Sousa: “Ideally we would have rebuilt the entire ventilation system and replaced all its central ventilation units. But this would have been at a substantial cost that was beyond the clinic manager’s budget. To achieve proper value for money, we therefore had to find a solution for improving the final filtration system of the operating theatres while retaining the current network of ducts.”

A tailor-made and accessible solution proposed by AFPRO Filters

Antonio Sousa asked Arnaud Dissaux, Northern Area Sales Manager at AFPRO Filters, to find a way of moving the final filtration from the air handling unit and positioning it directly in the operating theatre. In no time at all, AFPRO Filters suggested tailor-made products to accommodate the existing installation while limiting the scale of the works and theatre downtimes. 

The first task was to take measurements to ensure that there was sufficient flow to cope with the works. For this, the company Air Conseil Services worked alongside Arnaud Dissaux and Antonio Sousa.

Then, AFPRO Filters came up with a proposal to improve air filtration in the operating theatres. The project team recommended changing the filter supports, installing filter arrays, and replacing the old filters with new ones with different dimensions. Previously the filtration comprised ISO coarse ePM1 and H14 ISO filters directly in the AHU outlet. The filtration now comprises ISO coarse 70% and ePM1 80% filters and a high-efficiency E10 filter in the AHU. In addition, filter arrays with high-efficiency H14 filters carry out local filtration of the air within the operating theatres. Thanks to the advice of AFPRO Filters, the filtration quality and selectivity of the air conditioning system have improved greatly. 

Arnaud, Northern Area Sales Manager, reflects on the project and explains the strategy used to meet the needs of the polyclinic: “We recommended installing our tailor-made filter arrays inside the theatres to deliver a direct airflow of outstanding quality closer to the surgical area. Having the filtration near to the theatre provides safety for the area to be protected. Parasites, contamination, or other external elements can no longer affect the high quality of the air within the theatre. This filter array is also fitted with high efficiency HEPA H14 filters ensuring air renewal in the ISO 7 Risk 3 operating rooms in accordance with standard NFS 90-351”.

Good results from the final filtration of the operating theatres

The installation of high-efficiency filtration directly at the filter output and locally at the operating theatre level has produced good results in terms of the initial objective, namely improving the air filtration in the operating theatres. This solution, which is more cost-efficient for the polyclinic, also allowed the work to be kept to a minimum.

Antonio Sousa: “Ideally there would be a separate air handling unit for each operating theatre. That’s not what we currently have, as the air handling unit is still shared by 3 theatres, but the high efficiency filtration now gives us very good filtration quality. So, the result of this project is good and has been validated by the technical manager and the quality manager of the Polyclinique du Parc. We now have two air conditioning systems and two operating theatres working at their optimum”.

The work was carried out within the allotted time over the summer period

Limited time was available for implementing this project and this had to fall within the summer period, to take advantage of the shutdown of the polyclinic’s operating theatres. So it was essential to take sufficient account of the lead times for the supply of the equipment to be incorporated into the operating theatres. Despite a few hiccups, the various parties brought together for this project managed to complete the work on time.

Antonio Sousa: “I appreciated the support and guidance of AFPRO Filters throughout the project, from the upstream preparations to the execution of the work. I was in regular contact with Arnaud Dissaux. He came to the site during the week of the work to check that everything was going well and that there were no particular difficulties.”

AFPRO Filters, Air Conseil Service, and Dalkia were able to organize themselves and safely work together to complete this project while providing good quality delivery.

Antonio Sousa: “The AFPRO Filters team, and more particularly Arnaud Dissaux, quoted us a competitive price, while offering a tailor-made approach and advice, geared towards the challenges faced by the end customer, the Maubeuge polyclinic. The technical manager of the Polyclinique du Parc also had me as a single point of contact, which was convenient for him”.

A good commercial relationship 

This was the first time that Dalkia had worked with AFPRO Filters on this type of project. Antonio Sousa chose AFPRO Filters to carry out this project as the global offering of AFPRO was more advantageous from the point of view of price, quality, service, and time frame. He adds that: “ A good price does not always guarantee the quality, but I have no regrets now about working with AFPRO Filters and Air Conseil Services for this installation.”

Antonio Sousa would like to work with AFPRO Filters again on future projects. A contract has already been signed with the technical manager for the other polyclinics based in the Maubeuge area. Even though Dalkia has various partners, it wants to use AFPRO Filters on a number of future projects which is a measure of its confidence.