This article was originally published here
Breast Cancer. 2021 Apr 2. doi: 10.1007/s12282-021-01235-y. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) undermines the benefits of cancer screening. To date, no study has identified specific infection control methods. We aimed to provide practical methods for COVID-19 risk reduction during breast cancer screening mammography (MMG) by examining an overview of potential contamination routes of aerosols and possible risks for patients and health care providers.
METHODS: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted for airflow and aerosol dispersion in a 3D virtual model of a mobile MMG laboratory room. This model was constructed based on the actual mobile screening MMG bus ‘Cosmos’ in the Chiba Foundation for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. Examiner and patient geometries were obtained by scanning an actual human using a 3D Scanner. Contamination of the room was evaluated by counting the numbers of suspended and deposited aerosols.
RESULTS: We applied the CFD simulation model to the exhalation of small or large aerosols from a patient and examiner in the MMG laboratory. Only 14.5% and 54.5% of large and small aerosols, respectively, were discharged out of the room with two doors open. In contrast, the proportion of large and small aerosols discharged out of the room increased to 96.6% and 97.9%, respectively, with the addition of forced gentle wind by the blower fan. This simulation was verified by a mist aerosol experiment conducted in the mobile MMG laboratory.
CONCLUSION: Adding forced ventilation to a MMG laboratory with two doors open may enable risk reduction dramatically. This could be applied to other clinical situations.