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|Title||Assessment of Indoor Air Quality in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Government Hospitals in Gaza Strip, Palestine|
The indoor air quality is considered one of the most important factors that affect the residents of indoors, and hospitals - especially the closed units such as the neonatal intensive care units - places that most prone to poor ventilation. The aim of this study was to assess of indoor air quality in three neonatal intensive care units, which were chosen geographically to represent the Gaza strip. The study adopted two methods to gather information, firstly: field work, by measuring carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature, relative humidity and suspended particles using special devices, and secondly: a questionnaire exploring views of the staff (doctors and nurses) about indoor air quality and the impact of these elements on them. The study was conducted on 4 March until 22 March 2013, where 108 questionnaires have been filled out in parallel with measurements. 41% of the sample are doctors, 59% nurses, 68% males, 32%females, 56% have bachelor degrees, and 55% have more than five year experience. 43% of the sample were in the NICU of the Shifa Hospital, 35% in the NICU of the Gaza European Hospital, and 22% in the NICU of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. The study showed that the average concentrations of carbon dioxide were often close to the maximum standard of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and sometimes exceed the limit, especially in the NICU of Shifa Hospital. While the concentrations of carbon monoxide are consistent with the standards recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency in all places of study. As well, the study showed that the temperature was in all places of the study on normal rates, but sometimes it was at Shifa Hospital very close to the limit. While the degree of relative humidity complied with the American standard. For concentrations of suspended particles, it has also complied with the standard of the United States Agency for Environmental Protection. The study also showed that 60% of employees suffer from the sick building syndrome, where 83% suffer from tired and fatigue, while76% suffer from headache, 78% of them believe that these symptoms are related to their workplace, and 71% of them disappear the symptoms after they leave work. The results of the statistical analysis (ANOVA) indicated the existence of a statistical significance when compared to the results of the variables for each hospital separately. Also showed the existence of a statistical significance when comparing the average results for each variable with time in the European Gaza Hospital, while at Shifa Hospital, there were statistical significance with humidity, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide variables. At Al-Aqsa Hospital there was statistical significance only with variable temperature and carbon dioxide. In contrast, there are no statistical significance in the differences between the response of the questionnaire with some variables such as age and sex. Consequently, the study suggested some recommendations, especially for officials and decision-makers at the Ministry of Health, and the need to give this issue more attention. And that the environmental awareness and its impact needs to be strengthened among the employees.
|Publisher||الجامعة الإسلامية - غزة|
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