The Importance of Negative Pressure in Healthcare

While medical staff is working non-stop to clear infections from patients, medical facilities’ HVAC systems are working non-stop to keep the air clean and contaminant free. Negative pressure in a medical facility, such as a hospital, is a must-have to prevent infection from spreading from one area to another, which will help prevent infection spreading from person to person while in said facility.

Negative pressure rooms are common in the fight against infection control. The science behind these rooms is that lower air pressure allows outside air into a controlled space. It holds the infected air particles and doesn’t allow them to escape from the room. Most hospitals utilize these solutions to keep negative pressure rooms up to standards:

  • Sealed floors, walls, windows, and ceilings
  • Entryways with self-closing technology that have adequate seals
  • HEPA filters to contain and control airborne contaminants
  • The correct ductwork, fans, and dampers to move air out of the building
  • Air pressure control and monitoring systems
  • Supply and exhaust rates

Hospitals use these solutions and more to keep infectious germs from running rampant throughout a hospital or healthcare facility. Most hospitals designate the following as negative pressure areas:

  • Bathrooms
  • Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs)
  • Triage areas (to include waiting rooms as well)
  • Decontamination rooms
  • Darkrooms
  • Autopsy

While this is not a complete list of negative pressure areas and rooms, loss of negative pressure in any of these places could be catastrophic. Not only would odors begin to trickle through the facility, but the spread of airborne contaminants would be unstoppable. Without HVAC systems in place that are up to date with OSHA and ASHRAE guidelines, patients, visitors, and staff would be exposed to any number of pathogens.

Monitoring and controlling room pressure are critical. Kele carries a variety of room pressure monitors and pressure accessories from trusted suppliers. The Kele team can help you find anything you need, and our tech service staff can help troubleshoot any issues in the field.

Shop Kele pressure products here.

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