- Airborne precautions prevent the spread of infectious diseases transmitted by pathogens that are breathed, sneezed, or coughed.
- Effective airborne precautions require a negative air-pressure room with the door closed to maintain air pressure balance between the isolation room and adjoining anteroom, hallway, or corridor.
- Negative air pressure must be monitored and air vented to the outside of the building or filtered through high frequency particulate air (HEPA) filtration before recirculation.
- Disposable N95 or HEPA respiration or reusable HEPA respirators or powered air purifying respirator (PAPR).
- Surgical masks
- Isolation door card
- Blood pressure cuff
- Personal protective equipment, as needed
Preparation of Equipment
- Keep airborne precaution supplies on cart outside isolation room.
- Situate the patient in a negative-pressure room with door closed. There should be an anteroom if possible.
- Put an “airborne precautions” sign on the door to notify anyone entering the room and on the patient’s chart to notify other facility’s policy to determine proper signage.
- Keep the patient’s door (and the anteroom door, if appropriate) closed, to maintain negative pressure and contain airborne pathogens.
- Monitor negative air pressure
- Pick up and put on the respirator.
- Adjust the straps for a firm, comfortable fit.
- Check the fit and respiratory seal.
- Tape an impervious bag to the patient’s bedside for disposal of facial tissues.
- Make sure visitors wear respirators while in the room.
- Limit the patient’s movement from the room.
- Make sure the patient wears a surgical mask over his nose and mouth when he leaves the room.
Disease Requiring Airborne Precautions
|Avian Influenza (HSN1)||For 14 days after start of symptoms, or until alternative diagnosis is confirmed.|
|Chickenpox (varicella)||Until lesions are crusted and no new lesion appear|
|Disseminated Herpes Zoster||For duration of illness|
|Localized Herpes Zoster in immunocompromised patients||For duration of illness|
|Measles (rubeola)||For duration of illness|
|Monkeypox||Until lesions are crusted|
|Pulmonary or laryngeal tuberculosis (TB), confirmed or suspected||After patient has started effective therapy, his condition is improving and three consecutive sputum smear collected on different days are negative for TB; or TB is ruled out.|
|Severe acute respiratory synfrome (SARS)||For duration of illness|
|Smallpox (variola major)||For duration of illness and until all scabs fall out|
|Viral hemorrhagic infections (Ebola, Lassa, Marburg)||For duration of illness with severe pulmonary involvement.|
- Before leaving the room, remove gloves and wash your hands
- Remove respirator outside the room after closing the door
- Discard respirator or clean and store it until next use
- To prevent microbial growth, store nondisposable respirators dry, well-ventilated place
- Reinforce the explanation of the isolation precautions to the patient and his family.
- Staff or visitors with no history of specific disease or no vaccination against it shouldn’t enter the room or provide care.