Inappropriate Room Pressurization

A room may be pressurized so that it is positive with respect to adjacent areas for several reasons. It may be done to protect patients in operating rooms and protective environment rooms from airborne pathogens that may be present in adjacent areas. It may be done to protect sterile medical and surgical supplies in supply rooms from airborne contaminants that may be present in adjacent rooms. If these rooms are not properly pressurized, airborne contaminants from adjacent areas may be pulled into them. Increased concentrations of airborne bacteria, fungi, and viruses within these rooms may contaminate clean equipment or promote increases in nosocomial infections. Positively pressurized rooms are usually the cleanest environments in a hospital. Loss of positive pressure compromises the aseptic environment within the room.

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