£120,000 investment enhances dental and ENT patient safety

10 March 2021

Patients receiving oral surgery at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Southampton are benefitting from an enhanced COVID-19 secure environment, thanks to a £90,000 investment in new air handling systems.Southampton investment - man having a dental treatment

The hospital offers a wide range of oral surgery to extract teeth. Due to the type of equipment used when carrying out oral surgery procedures, such as high-speed drills and suction, they are classed as “aerosol-generating procedures” or “AGPs”. As such, they may have the potential to distribute airborne disease.

In addition to the higher level of personal protective equipment used, routine staff COVID testing and rigorous COVID testing of patients to ensure they are not carrying the virus before having their procedure, the decision was taken by the hospital to strengthen the measures in place by installing enhanced air handling systems in each of the oral surgery rooms. They further reduce the risk to patients and staff alike and improve the turnaround time between seeing patients. This in turn gives the hospital a wider window of time for the environment in its oral surgery rooms to settle between seeing patients.

The enhanced air handling systems provide a constant rate of air supply and extraction to the room, with the surgeon having the ability to “boost” the rate of air flow when carrying out an aerosol generating procedure. In addition to providing a cleaner and safer environment, this also reduces the time between seeing patients, allowing the team to deliver treatment efficiently.

John McMenamin, Hospital Director at Practice Plus Group Hospital Southampton, commented: “Patient safety and the highest standards of care sit at the heart of everything we do, which is why we decided to further enhance the safety of our dental patients by investing in state-of-the-art air handling systems. We have also made an investment of £30,000 in similar equipment for ENT procedures.”

Photo by University of Plymouth