Hospital environment: A safe place to be when using Portuguese legislation as guidance?

Carla Viegas, Beatriz Almeida, Inês Paciência, João Cavaleiro Rufo, Cristiana Pereira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Exposure to bioburden (comprising bacteria and fungi) has become one of the critical issues for occupational and public health approaches in hospital environment. This study aims to assess the fungal burden in one Central Hospital in Oporto, Portugal, applying the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Portuguese legislation as guidance, verifying both the limit values and the conformity established for general indoor environments. Air samples were collected using a microbiological air sampler in several hospital areas (Day hospital, Internment ward, Operating Room, and Outpatient area). Among the 15 rooms analyzed, 20% (3 out of 15) presented I/O > 1 and 4 out of 15 presented Aspergillus section Fumigati, in a concentration above 12 UFC·m−3. Besides Aspergillus section Fumigati, the sections Nigri, Aspergilli, Usti and Versicolores were also observed. Qualitative assessment, besides the quantitative, should always be performed to guarantee an accurate assessment, even though the quantitative cut-off complies with the legal requirement. A multi-approach on sampling methods and in assays (culture based and molecular methods) will enrich data findings, enabling exposure assessors to perform IAQ assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth and social care systems of the future
Subtitle of host publicationdemographic changes, digital age and human factors: proceedings of the Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety, HEPS 2019
EditorsTeresa Patrone Cotrim, Florentino Serranheira, Paulo Sousa, Sue Hignett, Sara Albolino, Riccardo Tartaglia
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9783030240660
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
EventInternational Conference on Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety, HEPS 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 3 Jul 20195 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


ConferenceInternational Conference on Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety, HEPS 2019


  • Airborne fungi
  • Hospital environment
  • Indoor air quality
  • Qualitative assessment


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