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Development of an empirical model to aid in designing airborne infection isolation rooms.
Hayden-CS; Earnest-GS; Jensen-PA
J Occup Environ Hyg 2007 Mar; 4(3):198-207
Airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) house patients with tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and many other airborne infectious diseases. Currently, facility engineers and designers of heating, ventilation, and airconditioning (HVAC) systems have few analytical tools to estimate a room's leakage area and establish an appropriate flow differential (Delta Q) in hospitals, shelters, and other facilities where communicable diseases are present. An accurate estimate of leakage area and selection of Delta Q is essential for ensuring that there is negative pressure (i.e., pressure differential [Delta P]) between an AIIR and adjoining areas. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers evaluated the relationship between Delta Q and Delta P in 67 AIIRs across the United States and in simulated AIIR. Data gathered in the simulated AIIR was used to develop an empirical model describing the relationship between Delta Q, Delta P, and leakage area. Data collected in health care facilities showed that the model accurately predicted the leakage area 44 of 48 times. Statistical analysis of the model and experimental validation showed that the model effectively estimated the actual leakage area from -39% to +22% with 90% confidence. The NIOSH model is an effective, cost-cutting tool that can be used by HVAC engineers and designers to estimate leakage area and select an appropriate Delta Q in AIIRs to reduce the airborne transmission of disease.
Infection-control; Infectious-diseases; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Health-care-facilities; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles
CS Hayden, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Mail Stop C-27, 4676 Columbia Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division