Learn Why Hospitals Start the Use of Negative Pressure Rooms

Quite a few people in hospitals are at a higher risk of getting infected from airborne infections that includes immune-compromised patients, elderly people, newborns, hospital personnel and visitors. Due to this reason it is very important to ensure that hospital rooms have negative pressure.

Why it is necessary to make arrangement for a negative pressure room in hospitals?

Harmful airborne pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, pollens, molds, gases, volatile organic compounds, tiny particles and chemicals constitutes to airborne pathogens. These particles are found in abundance in a hospital. To get rid of them, a negative pressure room is made in a hospital. This room contains contaminants that prevent them from spreading in the room.

How are negative pressure Room different from ordinary rooms?

Negative-pressure environments are basically isolation rooms that are negatively pressurized in comparison to adjacent areas to avoid airborne contaminants from spreading to other areas. This will not just contaminate patients, sterile equipment, but also entire staff too.

What types of rooms have to be negatively pressurized?

According to the “2014 FGI Guidelines/Standard 170-2013”, it is mandatory for following rooms to negatively pressurize:

  • ER waiting rooms
  • Triage
  • Radiology waiting rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Darkrooms
  • Airborne infection isolation rooms
  • Cytology, histology, glass washing, pathology, nuclear medicine, microbiology, and sterilizing laboratories
  • Autopsy rooms
  • Soiled workrooms
  • Holding rooms
  • Soiled or
  • Decontamination room for surgical and medical supply
  • Soiled linen rooms
  • Trash chute rooms
  • Janitors’ closets

What is the use of positive pressure in the hospital?

Positive pressure is used in rooms that lie next to a negative pressure room.  The main aim of positive pressure is to ensure that airborne pathogens don’t contaminate the supplies or in the room. Positive pressure is also useful in an operating room to safeguard the patient, surgical and sterile medical supplies.

What should be done to prevent unbalanced pressure in a room?

There is a checklist that would help you prevent unbalanced pressure.

  • Evaluate the exhaust rates and supply for the room.
  • Ensure that the exhaust fans and supply are working properly.
  • Check for return grilles inside the room, and blockages of supply diffusers.
  • Evaluate the performance of biological safety cabinets and fume hoods inside the room and also in adjacent rooms. Inferior performance of such units impacts air balance in the close-by rooms.
  • Examine the pressure systems post performing any renovation activity. Renovations can change the HVAC system in a way that influences the air balance among close-by rooms.
  • Create positively and negatively pressured rooms
  • Most of the hospital HVAC duct systems are equipped with technology to accommodate specialized air pressures in fixed rooms. A hospital can adopt an approach of killing the pathogens that needs high dose of UV radiation installed into HVAC systems. These systems come at a considerable cost.


Any form of exposure to such airborne chemicals can lead to adverse health impact on the body. Histology and pathology laboratories and other areas of hospital uses negative pressure treatment to effectively isolate airborne chemicals and odors from other spaces of the hospital.

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