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Health hazard evaluation report: evaluation of ventilation controls for tuberculosis prevention at a hospital.

Niemeier T
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2010-0092-3188, 2013 Jul; :1-11
The HHE Program evaluated ventilation controls at a hospital after latent tuberculosis infections were identified among hospital staff. Investigators measured ventilation airflow in some airborne infection isolation rooms, airborne infection isolation anterooms, and standard patient rooms; they found that air in the isolation rooms and anterooms was exhausted directly to the outside as recommended. All but one of the isolation rooms measured met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline of providing at least six air changes per hour. Investigators recommended that the anterooms adjacent to the isolation rooms be rebalanced. All but one of the isolation rooms measured met the CDC guidelines for negative pressure (greater than or equal to 0.01 inches of water gauge). HHE Program investigators recommended that the employer follow CDC recommendations for airflow rates in isolation rooms and anterooms. A sufficient number of isolation rooms should be maintained to house patients with known or suspected active tuberculosis disease. Investigators also evaluated the use of portable air cleaners that could be used in standard patient rooms because of an insufficient number of airborne isolation rooms. As a result, investigators recommended that when portable air cleaners with high efficiency particulate air filtration and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation are used, their placement be carefully considered to achieve good air mixing. Additionally, they should be exhausted directly outside, the rooms should be maintained under negative pressure, and there should be no recirculation of room air to other parts of the facility. Investigators recommended that employees report suspected problems with the ventilation system in isolation rooms and anterooms to supervisors immediately.
Region-6; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Infection-control; Infectious-diseases; Health-care-facilities; Air-flow; Air-purifiers; Air-purification; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; tuberculosis; TB; healthcare; airborne infection isolation room; ventilation; AII room
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
HETA-2010-0092-3188; B20130805; M082013
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division