Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 5, 2020) – In preparation of a potential surge in COVID-19 patients, the facilities team at UCHealth Memorial Hospital has converted more than 50 patient rooms throughout Memorial Hospital Central into Temporary Negative Pressure Isolation rooms. An additional 11 rooms have been converted at Memorial Hospital North.
The rooms augment the dozens of traditional isolation rooms at the hospitals.
Negative pressure rooms are important to help to isolate patients with airborne infectious diseases and are designed to protect staff and other patients from contracting or transmitting disease.
Negative air-flow systems draw clean air into a room, which is then either filtered by a HEPA machine or exhausted to the outside air.
The most recent work occurred this past week, when the team completed work in 16 ICU rooms at Memorial Central in just two days. To convert most of the ICU rooms, the facilities team installed adapters on windows and attached flex duct to expel the air outdoors. Additional rooms were created by using HEPA filters, which scrub the air.
“I am so proud of our facilities team; they’ve worked tirelessly to develop new ways of achieving negative air flow rooms that are so important for our patients and staff,” said Mike Haijsman, director of facilities management at UCHealth Memorial. Haijsman added that the rooms meet CDC guidelines.
Negative pressure rooms are not new and have long been key in infectious disease management at hospitals; they are also used for patients who have measles, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.