Airflow for hospital pressure rooms.

Airflow for hospital pressure rooms

Have you ever wondered how air in hospital rooms does not get mixed up? Or how a sterilized room stays that way even if doors get opened? It’s simple: pressure differences. Using pressurized rooms, we can either keep the air from exiting or from entering. To prevent outside air to enter a room, positively pressurized rooms are used. This basically means that when an entrance to the room is available, inside air will diffuse to the outside to reach equilibrium and air from outside doesn’t contaminate the room. This is commonly used in surgery rooms which need to stay sterilized and completely free of contaminants. Another usage is to protect immunocompromised patients from potentially dangerous particles. 

The other form of the pressurized room is the negatively pressurized vacuum or isolation rooms. Isolation rooms are used to keep contaminated air and other dangerous particles inside the room when a door is open and non-contaminated air from outside flows into the room to reach equilibrium. These rooms are commonly used in situations where patients present symptoms of extremely infectious diseases like SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.

Airflow from and into the room can be controlled in several ways including:

  • Controlling the quantity and quality of air coming inti and out of the room
  • Controlling air pressure between rooms that are adjacent
  • Filtering the air using different methods like HEPA
  • Diluting contagious particles or infectious air with a lot of clean air

There are four types of isolation rooms:

Class S rooms are neutral pressure rooms where normal air conditioning is used. They are used for a type of infection control where gloves, masks, and gowns are used to ensure that no one comes into contact with the infectious patient directly. This is called contact isolation. These types of rooms can have other uses when they are not being used for hosting a patient that needs isolation.


Airflow for hospital pressure rooms illustartion

Class B rooms are positively pressurized rooms that hold patients that are immunocompromised.

Class N rooms are negatively pressurized rooms that hold patients with infectious disease to prevent the contamination of other areas of the hospital. These rooms have an exhaust system that removes more air than the rooms are supplied with.

Class Q rooms are negative pressure rooms that are incorporated with additional infection control methods such as an anteroom, a room in between a contaminated room and a noncontaminated room. Other additional precautions include self-locking doors, alarms to signal to staff the loss of pressure in a room, and a ventilation system that does not allow exhaust air to return to the room.

HSE engineers and technicians are well experienced in the design, supply and installation of all kinds of infrastructure and piping. 

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