Distributions of respiratory contaminants from a patient with different postures and exhaling modes in a single-bed inpatient room

Yonggao Yin, Jitendra K. Gupta, Xiaosong Zhang, Junjie Liu, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated contaminant transport and evaluated the ventilation performance in a single-bed inpatient room. The study performed comparative experimental analysis on the distributions of respiratory contaminants breathed out and coughed out by a patient in a full-scale chamber, which simulated a single-bed inpatient room. The contaminant exhaled by the patient was simulated by an SF6 tracer gas and 3-μm particles at steady-state conditions. The differences in the contaminant distribution between the coughing and breathing cases were insignificant for the mixing ventilation case, while for the displacement ventilation, the contaminant concentrations in the upper part of the room were higher for the coughing case. The contaminant concentrations in the inpatient room for the case with the patient sitting on the bed were lower than those for the patient supine on the bed for the displacement ventilation under the same supply airflow rate. The SF6 tracer gas and 3-μm particles released at a notable initial velocity for simulating a cough could give similar contaminant distributions in the inpatient room. Therefore, the experimental data can be used to validate a CFD model, and the validated CFD model can be used to investigate transient coughing and breathing processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Breath
  • Cough
  • Displacement ventilation
  • Inpatient room
  • Mixing ventilation
  • Posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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