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An end to lung complaints and fatigued employees in the plaster room at Erasmus MC-Sophia

Thanks to the unique combination of paediatrics and paediatric surgery with children and youth psychiatry/ psychology, the hospital can offer a complete care package to both children and their parents. Patients are referred to Sophia Children’s Hospital from all over the Netherlands and abroad. The Erasmus MC-Sophia is part of the largest university medical centre in the Netherlands, the Erasmus MC. The Erasmus MC is renowned for providing excellent care through research and education to achieve a healthy population. The Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital concentrates on care, education and research into disease and the health of children between 0 and 18 years of age. It is the oldest and largest children’s hospital in the Netherlands.

THE CHALLENGE
The plaster room at Sophia Children’s Hospital had long suffered air quality problems and employees frequently complained of fatigue. They also had to contend with lung complaints such as pneumonia. The hospital is fitted with climate control equipment, but this was inadequate for the plaster room. Patients visit the department to have casts fitted. The department mostly uses artificial plaster that is packaged in air-tight containers, and when these containers are opened, unpleasant vapours are released. When patients return to have their casts removed a few weeks later, a mobile plaster saw is used. The saw is equipped with a vacuum, but this does not function adequately enough to remove all of the dust particles from the room. Removal not only releases dust into the air but also flakes of skin and unpleasant odours. Jeannette Zeevat explains: “We were worried. We use the saw all day long and the
room has no windows and only one door that’s often closed. It isn’t too difficult to see that the situation was far from ideal.”

THE SOLUTION
Erasmus MC-Sophia was approached by Euromate as the hospital was eager to see what the company could do in a plaster room. The timing was perfect as the complaints in the hospital at the time were particularly prominent. It was a win-win situation. Following a consultation, the room was fitted with an air cleaner as a trial. Jeannette Zeevat: “We’re eager to have clean air in the plaster rooms. I was very curious as to what would happen if we had an air cleaner fitted and wanted to see with my own eyes what would be filtered out.” Jeannette vervolgt: “To convince my colleagues, we studied the filters carefully and could see how clogged they were with dust, residue and flakes of skin. We all now feel much more energetic at the end of the day, and there is clearly less dust, while the odours are much more neutral. It goes without saying that we purchased the air cleaner. The process was extremely friendly and smooth, I’ve nothing but praise for Euromate!” The air cleaner runs continuously at level 2 and the noise level is very reasonable. Employees working in the plaster room are now assured of a safe and clean working environment, and patients are able to enjoy a more pleasant atmosphere. With a service contract in place, the filters are replaced promptly to ensure a continuous supply of clean air. Jeannette Zeevat: “The plaster traps are buckets into which the sink drains run. The plaster is collected in those buckets since it’s not permitted in the sewers. They are changed frequently and it smells dreadful. Now we turn the air cleaner up and the smell goes away!”

Citaat: Jeannette Zeevat, plaster castor at Erasmus MC Sohpia Children’s hospital: “We all now feel much more energetic at the end of the day, and there is clearly less dust in the air. The odours are neutral too, which makes it a much better environment to work in!”

 

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