In the fall of 2020, QPS Missouri added a 2,500-square-foot negative pressure facility to our campus located in Springfield, Missouri. The facility includes a common area, anteroom, dispensary, and a negative pressure room. What does the new facility mean for QPS Missouri’s clinical research study capabilities, and what are the benefits of negative pressure rooms? Read on to find out more.
What Is a Negative Pressure Room?
Negative pressure rooms are most commonly used in hospital intensive care settings. First and foremost, these rooms are primarily used as a method of infection control, isolating patients with highly contagious airborne diseases. This includes conditions like measles, tuberculosis, SARS, and, of course, COVID-19. These rooms keep pathogens within their walls, helping protect people outside of the room from exposure to airborne pathogens. According to Infection Control Today, an influx of negative pressure rooms was a consequence of the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, now that many healthcare facilities are equipped with negative pressure rooms, it could dramatically increase both patient and healthcare worker safety in the face of other contagious diseases.
How Do Negative Pressure Rooms Work?
Negative pressure rooms have lower air pressure than the space around them in order to allow outside air into the enclosed environment. Where a standard hospital room may allow debris, dust, and pathogens to escape via the room’s airflow, a room with lower air pressure traps these particles and keeps them in the negative pressure room. Then, when the door or anteroom opens, non-contaminated filtered air will flow into the negative pressure room. Additionally, highly filtered exhaust systems suck the contaminated air out of the room, cleaning the air of harmful particles. The system then safely pumps the air back outside. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines several ways that airflow within a negative pressure room can be controlled:
- Controlling the quantity and quality of the air in the room
- Controlling the air pressure between adjacent rooms or areas
- Diluting infectious air or particles with large amounts of clean air
Benefits of Negative Pressure Rooms
A negative pressure room is a major benefit to any healthcare or clinical research study facility. First, negative pressure rooms keep facility staff and visitors safe from potentially contaminated air or harmful particles. Beyond that, negative pressure rooms can help increase a research facility’s capabilities. By adding a negative pressure room to our campus, QPS Missouri will have the capability to conduct clinical research studies that we have not been able to in the past, including the following:
- Respiratory trials
- Smoking trials
- COVID-19 testing
- Quarantine for patients infected with COVID-19 and other airborne diseases
So, what are the benefits of negative pressure rooms? First, they offer total pathogen containment. Additionally, these rooms help increase the capacity of clinical research study facilities, allowing these facilities to study everything from smoking-related conditions to COVID-19 and other viruses.
Have you ever thought about participating in a clinical research study? You could be a part of history! And QPS Missouri is looking for new participants. Since opening its doors in 1994, QPS Missouri has conducted over 1,000 FDA-regulated studies, paying out over $35 million to local participants. Your local participation could have a global impact, as QPS is an international leader in contract research with facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Our mission is to accelerate the development of drugs worldwide by enabling breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation. This includes several pediatric studies across several age ranges. If you would like to join us in this crucial healthcare mission, consider applying for a clinical research study.
To get started, you simply need to fill out an online application. Within 48 business hours, a recruiting coordinator will contact you for your pre-screening assessment. To learn more, please visit the QPS Missouri website, review the study participation process, or check out our list of frequently asked questions.