Pressurised rooms have a critical role to play in healthcare environments by protecting both patients and staff from infection and disease.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with each other, how we conduct business and manage staff, how we travel and react to our environment, but most importantly, the way we handle and control it in our daily lives.

Within the medical industry, and in particular hospitals and medical rooms, it has become vitally important to protect patients and keep employees safe from disease and infection. Positive and negative pressure rooms are an essential part of controlling and enabling a safe environment for all.

Positive pressure rooms

Positive pressure rooms maintain a higher pressure inside a treatment area than its surrounding environment. This allows air containing any airborne particles, germs and other contaminants to be filtered out of the room. It also prevents these contaminants in surrounding environments to enter the room. In a medical setting, a ‘protective environment’, which is a positive pressure room, keeps patients within these rooms safe from infections and disease.

Positive pressure rooms are helpful when treating patients with compromised immune systems as any harmful element will essentially be filtered out. Vitro fertilisation labs and operating theatres are some of the other settings where positive pressure rooms are required.

Negative pressure rooms

A negative pressure room uses lower air pressure and allows air from outside into the segregated environment, essentially trapping and keeping potentially harmful particles within the room. This is especially important when it comes to protecting those outside from exposure to patients with infectious conditions (AIIR) such as COVID-19.

Both positive and negative pressure rooms are a necessary part of medical and research environments to assist in the prevention and spread of infectious contaminants.

Infection prevention is vital

The importance of infection prevention and control in healthcare settings cannot be overstated. The global Coronavirus pandemic has once again highlighted the need for adequately ventilated and controlled isolation rooms. A neutral pressure room with a positive pressure ventilated lobby creates an environment suitable for managing infectious and immuno-compromised patients. There is no doubt that air pressure stabilisers provide practical solutions and effectively manage the required air pressure differentials.

SL Hygienic ICU doors

The SL Hygienic ICU door from ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems is one of those technologies making this happen. At over two metres in width, these ICU doors offer one of the industry’s largest openings that can accommodate any emergency or hospital bed.

In addition to full integration to building control systems, the SL Hygienic ICU 521 door has the option of acoustic glass for soundproofing and passes all AS/NZ standards (4284:2008) for test pressures.

What does this mean?

Testing is important to ensure that the criteria of keeping pressure consistent are maintained, especially in a medical environment. It was required that testing be at suctions of -15 Pa and -30 Pa and a further measurement at -40 Pa was included to permit fitting a regression line for later extrapolation or interpolation. All doors are custom made to fit the purpose of the room and can be used in various industry segments.

In addition to the medical industry, SL Hygienic doors are well suited for lab rooms, scientific or isolated type environments as well as any building requiring high efficiency sealing both in a commercial and residential environment.