Alpha testing of a system for creating on-demand positive-and negative–pressure isolation environments in typical emergency department rooms
In the face of heightened concerns over nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) terrorist attack or accident , in the federal government has mandated an increase in the number of positive and negative pressure isolation rooms. Currently these rooms represent a scarce hospital resource, especially in Eds that may have only 1 or 2 available. It would be useful to be able to create “on demand” isolation rooms to provide surge capacity and to meet federal guidelines. In this private-public partnership, we undertook the development and testing of a portable environmental control system that can create either positive–or negative–pressure isolation environments in an otherwise typical hospital or emergency department room. This Alpha test was designed to determine the ability of the system to produce a stable positive or negative pressure environment, consistent with CDC guidelines, within typical emergency department patient care rooms.