Careful disease management, especially for highly contagious airborne illnesses, is critical in preventing the further spread of viruses and bacteria. One the biggest challenges facing healthcare providers is the ability to provide effective medical treatment while ensuring infected patients remain quarantined. One of the many advancements in the fight to help contain the spread of airborne infectious disease is negative pressure isolation systems.
Airborne illnesses are among the most contagious, which also makes them the most dangerous from a disease management standpoint. In crowded places like public transit, airports, and busy streets, one infected person can easily infect several others. As the number of cases multiply, they can rapidly impact entire cities, or even countries, in a matter of days.
Healthcare professionals need to take special care when dealing with airborne pathogens. Not only could they infect themselves, but they could also spread the pathogen to other patients who may not be prepared (e.g. immune-compromised) to fight a serious illness. Because airborne diseases are invisible and spread through the air, they are uniquely hard to contain.
Negative Pressure Isolation Rooms
An effective strategy to combating airborne pathogens is through the use negative pressure isolation rooms or airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR). These specialized rooms use pressure to keep the infected air inside from escaping into the outside corridor, where it could potentially spread to other people.
Contagious patients are held inside negative pressure isolation rooms that use a ventilation system to regulate pressure. The pressure difference isn’t enough to affect patients or even enough for them to notice, but they do make sure that air only flows from the higher-pressure corridor into the isolation room, not the other way around. This effectively contains the infected air inside the room and prevents the spread to other patients and healthcare providers.
Negative pressure isolation rooms work well to contain airborne pathogens, but they have one shortcoming: physical rooms don’t move. How do you contain a pathogen in transit without also contaminating the air? Modern advances in negative pressure technology have allowed for much smaller isolation chambers than ever before.
The ISOPOD is a portable negative pressure isolation system designed for individual patients. Not only can contagious patients be transported safely and efficiently, but it also allows healthcare professionals to perform life-saving medical procedures in an uncontaminated environment, even on the move.
These portable negative pressure isolation systems were used extensively around the world during the Ebola and MERS crises. They are also used in hospitals to transport contaminated patients safely between rooms without infecting other patients or hospital staff. With up to 16 hours of continuous negative pressure isolation, the ISOPOD can also be used to transport infected patients long-distance while remaining contained. Hot swap and pass-through ports allow medical professionals to bring oxygen, IV lines, and other instruments to the patient without risk of exposure.
Modern innovations are solving long-standing challenges in the healthcare industry. Containment of airborne pathogens using technology like that found in the ISOPOD has become easier and more efficient, with less risk than ever before.