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ISOLATION ROOMS: How many air changes per hour?

Design considerations for negative isolation and positive isolation rooms are discussed in this brief article by an engineering consultant.  Negative-pressure isolation rooms are intended to keep an infectious patient from infecting others in the hospital.  Positive isolation rooms are the opposite – intended to keep germs away from an immunocompromised patient in the room.  The recommendation for both types of isolation rooms is reported to be at least 12 air changes per hour.  Some hospitals use isolation rooms for general patients when they are available.  Although allowed in the past, it is no longer possible to operate isolation rooms that can be switched back and forth from negative to positive pressure.

Source: Herrick, M. (2017, February). Pressure points: Planning and maintaining air isolation rooms. Health Facilities Management, 30(2), 29-32.  Click here: http://www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/2671-planning-and-maintaining-hospital-air-isolation-rooms  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org