The swine flu situation seems to evolve by the hour, but a webpage the CDC updated a couple of days ago remains quite relevant for health care facilities.

The document addresses several aspects of dealing with possibly infected patients in your health care setting. The most immediate section for us concerns ventilation and infection control in the occupied space.

The most relevant passage:

"Procedures that are likely to generate aerosols (e.g., bronchoscopy, elective intubation, suctioning, administering nebulized medications), should be done in a location with negative pressure air handling whenever feasible.  An airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) with negative pressure air handling with 6 to 12 air changes per hour can be used.  Air can be exhausted directly outside or be recirculated after filtration by a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.  Facilities should monitor and document the proper negative-pressure function of AIIRs, including those in operating rooms, intensive care units, emergency departments, and procedure rooms."

I recommend you have a look and pass the link (at bottom) along to your colleagues if you wish.


As I posted on Twitter earlier today, ASHE is also hosting a page (also below) that includes the ongoing CDC updates, WHO updates, the association's guidance, and other resources. It looks like a valuable bookmark for the forseeable future.

(And yes, we're on Twitter. For the lightning-fast latest on what's happening with ES and its website updates, visit and follow us.)