OT (Operating Theatre) Ventilation, Filtration and Climate Control



Ventilation and filtration of air is standard in operating theatres in most high-income countries. However, in the MSF field context there is a lack of a simple and affordable technical solution to fill this need.

The recommendations for ventilation and filtration in the operating room is typically 25 air changes per hour (minimum) and use of F7/HEPA (3 micron) filters. Theoretically, the constant fresh flow of air decreases bacterial load by diluting the infectious particles present while the filtration removes these particles from the incoming air. In addition, positive pressure ventilation forces particles and dirt into less-critical areas.

Any such system must be easy to install and maintain and should provide at the minimum 6 air changes per hour and 3 micron filtration. The estimated floor size of an operating room is 24-35 m2, with the entire operating department being 90-180 m2. The proposed system should be compatible with both generators and city power sources; and it should function reliably in extreme weather including high temperatures, dusty/sandy conditions, and torrential rain. Further, having a single system that combines ventilation and filtration with climate control would be ideal for ensuring its use and maintenance


Reviewing and updating the technical specifications and technology mapping performed previously. Also, identifying and reaching out to manufacturers, solution providers, universities and institutes that can provide further insights into both needs and solutions.



Case Owner

MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA), Medical Department


External financial support provided by Postkodlotteriet.


Andreas Larsson, Case Manager

Energy, IPC, MedicalLouis Potter