Sadly, this pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime in the near future. Safety from this and other viruses in hospitals is of the utmost importance. For this reason, isolation rooms utilizing differential pressure are integral in maintaining safety in hospitals.
How Isolation Rooms Work
Isolation rooms are also known as Airborne Infection Isolation rooms (or AII rooms). These are rooms in a hospital that are designed to quarantine patients with contagious infections or viruses. Their design stops movement of airborne particles throughout the hospital. Airflow is very important in the success of isolation rooms. Airflow is used to prevent the all air from entering corridors or hallways, which eliminates the chance that contaminated air will spread to these areas, and healthy individuals.
Pressure monitoring systems are essential in preventing the spread of viruses and other infectious diseases. They measure the pressurized airflow between a positive or negative pressure room and the isolation room.
Negative air pressure
Isolation rooms sometimes use negative air pressure to prevent airflow of infected air. Negative pressure helps prevent airborne diseases (such as Covid-19) from escaping the room and infecting healthy individuals. Pressurized air is pulled into the room. Then it is filtered before being pushed outside.
In a negative air pressure room, air may be felt entering the room under a closed door or through a window that is slightly opened.
Positive air pressure
Positive air pressure isolation rooms are a little different. They are usually used when a person has a weakened immune system. Clean, filtered air is continuously pumped into the isolation room in order to keep contagious diseases out of the room.
With a positive air pressure isolation room air may be felt blowing out of the room under a closed door.
What can you expect dealing with an isolation room
- Visitation may be allowed, but not always. All visitors and hospital staff should wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Anyone that is sick should never be allowed to enter the isolation room.
- Anyone entering or leaving the room should wash their hands thoroughly.
- If you’re a patient in isolation, you may need to stay in the isolation room at all times except for tests or procedures that cannot be done in the isolation room.
- The door to the isolation room should stay closed at all times, unless otherwise directed by hospital staff.
- A remote temperature monitoring system that measures pressure should be used to ensure that the isolation room is working as needed.