Understanding How Positive / Negative Pressure Machines Are Used in Healthcare

Understanding How Positive / Negative Pressure Machines Are Used in Healthcare 1

In recent months there has been much talk about the ways and means by which we can keep our indoor air quality clean and free of potentially threatening particles, dust, and germs. Never has there been a time in modern history that the United States – as a whole – has faced such an urgency. 

 

Public health emergencies, such as the current Covid19 crisis, requires systematic protocols to protect citizens from airborne contaminants and infectious diseases. The medical community and the patients they labor to protect are even more vulnerable than the general public and require many extra layers of protection against illness.

Existing healthcare practices generally include personal protective equipment and accessories, patient isolation, and environmental control. But for the most aggressive communicable diseases, additional measures such as negative pressure HEPA machines are recommended. 

To understand its effectiveness in this circumstance, one must become familiar with this particular piece of equipment and understand how it operates.

What is negative pressure air cleaning?

This type of air purifier, when using negative pressure, removes airborne pollutants from a contained space so as to prevent the spread of contamination to other parts of a building or structure. 

How does it work?

The unit creates a negative vacuum that pulls air in and through a filter (such as HEPA or ULPA) and attached ductwork to remove impurities such as microbes, dust, and molds. Thus, preventing dirty air from leaving the space.

What is positive pressure air cleaning?  

When using positive pressure, the air cleaner maintains a higher room air pressure than that of the surrounding environment, meaning particles are filtered as air leaves a room and are prevented from returning.

Are they CDC or OSHA Approved?

Neither the CDC nor OSHA approve indoor air quality equipment – to say a piece of equipment is CDC approved is misleading. Both organizations set standards that need to be met by businesses and healthcare facilities. Quality air cleaning equipment can help such organizations meet these standards and adhere to such regulations.

What are examples of Positive/Negative Pressure Rooms?

Patients with infectious diseases, such as the COVID19 virus, require isolation treatment in a space with negative pressure. This reduces the chance of germ transmission via doorways and HVAC systems. Other examples of medical spaces that require negative pressure cleaning are waiting rooms, ERs, facility bathrooms, and decontamination spaces.

Positive pressure rooms require consistent filtration of harmful pollutants so clean air is always maintained. Examples are operating rooms, laboratory clean rooms, and in vitro fertilization labs. 

The type of pressure machine product that is right for a given application will depend on whether or not an area or room and the air within needs to be isolated or protected from outside contaminants. At Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc. we provide to our customers our Extract-All® Ultra Clean Air room air cleaning system. It is a portable, self-contained high-efficiency system that uses HEPA or ULPA filtration. For more information, contact us for a free estimate with one of our clean air experts.