Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.
Getting the Right Medical Room Pressure
With airborne infectious diseases that can easily spread from one person to another, such as the COVID-19 virus, isolation is critical. In a hospital or clinic, an isolation room needs negative pressure to have airflow into the room and avoid pathogens, or germs, from escaping. In addition to viruses, other undesirable contaminants to keep away from the rest of the population and sterile equipment in a hospital include bacteria, fungi, yeasts, molds, pollens, gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), small particles and chemicals.
The airflow to create and maintain the negative pressure (vacuum) in the room requires a consistent pressure differential of about 0.01 inch water gauge (in. w.g.) or 2.5 Pascals (Pa).
- Emergency Department Public Waiting Areas
- Emergency Department Decontamination
- Radiology Waiting Rooms
- Airborne Infection Isolation (AII) Rooms
- Most Laboratory Work Areas
- Autopsy Rooms
- Soiled Workrooms or Soiled Holding Rooms
- Soiled or Decontamination Rooms in Sterile Processing Department
- Soiled Linen Sorting and Storage
- Janitors’ Closets
In contrast, protecting the patient and sterile medical and surgical supplies in an operating room requires positive pressure to keep undesirable contaminants outside. The positive pressure room is achieved by pumping in filtered, clean air.
Isolation (Low) vs. operating room (High) pressure.
Source: Minnesota Department of Health
In fact, some portable, headgear-mounted air purifying respirator systems use positive pressure to protect the wearer.
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