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  • Writer's pictureDouglas Guthans


A negative pressure room in a hospital is used to contain airborne contaminants within the room. Harmful airborne pathogens include bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, molds, pollens, gases, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), small particles and chemicals are part of larger list of airborne pathogens you can find in a hospital.

Isolation rooms are negatively pressurized with respect to adjacent areas to prevent airborne contaminants from drifting to other areas and contaminating patients, staff and sterile equipment.

A negative pressure isolation room is commonly used for patients with airborne infections. For example, a patient with active Coronavirus, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans, will be placed in a negatively pressurized room because the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. When the patient with active COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, other people may become infected when they inhale through respiratory droplets.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. However, by using a negative pressure room you can better contain the coronavirus within the room.

To prevent unbalanced pressure in the critical negative air rooms, routine checks should be made. Monitor the supply and exhaust rates for the room. Check that supply and exhaust fans are operating properly. Check for blockages of supply diffusers and return grilles within the room; occupants may block them in an effort to improve their thermal comfort. Check performance of fume hoods and biological safety cabinets within the room and in adja­cent rooms.  Poor performance of these units affects air balance within nearby rooms. Monitor all pressure systems after any renovation.  Renovations may alter the HVAC system in a manner that impacts the air balance among nearby rooms.

AHG Services, LLC provides turnkey HVAC system installation and building automation system integration to help monitor the isolation room system pressures and provide real time reports. AHG Services, LLC furnishes and installs permanent and temporary air-conditioning systems, exhaust, sheet metal duct, building automation controls, isolation room pressure monitoring systems, and a turn-key effort to collaborate with hospitals and facility owners for the overall protection of life safety to the general public.

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