The Different Types of Isolation Rooms

by Technical Air Products

isolation rooms

In a previous blog we talked about negative air pressure rooms. There are several different types of isolation rooms used commonly today in healthcare facilities. Let’s talk about what the types of rooms are and what they are specifically used for. 

Different Types of Isolation Rooms

There are four types of isolation rooms. These four include: 

Class S Isolations Rooms – The S stands for “standard,” meaning this is a neutral air pressure room where normal heating, cooling, and ventilation can be used. This type of room is typically used for contact isolation. Healthcare providers will use PPE such as gloves, gowns or masks, to interact with an infectious patient, but the room can be used for other purposes if there is no need to physically isolate patients. 

Class P Isolation Rooms – This type of room has positive pressure. That means that the pressure inside the room is higher than it is outside of the room. If a door is opened, air flows out because of this pressure, and the air outside will not enter the room. Positive pressure rooms are designed to keep vulnerable patients inside them safe from any germs or particles in the surrounding environment.

There are two types of negative pressure rooms: 

Class N Isolation Rooms – Negative air pressure rooms operate on the opposite principle as positive pressure rooms. The air pressure inside the room is lower than in the surrounding area. If a door is opened, the pressure difference keeps the air inside of the room, protecting anyone outside that space safe from germs and particles in the isolation room. An exhaust system continuously removes air from the room in order to maintain its negative pressure. 

Class Q Rooms – A Class Q room is a negative pressure isolation room used in conjunction with other infection control measures like anterooms. These rooms are ideal for maintaining quarantine in an infection situation such as a pandemic. The other precautions may include alarms, self-closing doors, and a ventilation system that removes air from the room without allowing any of it to return. HEPA or ULPA filters should be used to filter the exhaust leaving the room so no one outside is exposed to it. 

An anteroom is sometimes referred to as a gown room or an airlock. It’s used as a controlled area in which staff can enter or exit and transfer supplies and equipment while maintaining the separation between the room and the surrounding area. They can also put on or remove PPE if necessary. If the negative pressure in the isolation room were to fail, the anteroom would function as an additional protective barrier.

The various types of isolation rooms function in different ways to keep people safe from viruses, bacteria, or other pollutants that might endanger them. Technical Air Products manufactures the components necessary to build and maintain Class P, Class N, and Class Q rooms for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Please take some time to look over the options available or contact us for more information. 

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