Special airborne precautions


The doctor has placed your child in isolation because he has an infection, suspected or confirmed, that could spread to other patients in the hospital. Isolation is used to help prevent the spread of infection. The doctor can tell you the type of bacteria or virus your child has and how long he will need to be in isolation.

For this type of isolation, your child will be placed in an inpatient or clinic isolation room that has a negative pressure air handling system. This means air blows into the room when the door is open. The entire time your child is in isolation a sign will be posted on the patient room or clinic room door that says “Special Airborne Precautions.” This tells people coming into the room what type of personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to wear before they enter and while they are in the patient’s room.

The Infection Prevention and Control team will screen family members of a patient with suspected or confirmed tuberculosis for symptoms of this infection.

Special airborned precautions

  • Negative pressure room is required in hospital.
  • Patient must stay in the isolation room.
  • Patient will wear a gray armband to indicate special airborne precautions.
  • If your child has tuberculosis (TB) or might have it, you must wear an N95 facemask when entering the patient room. See “Do You Know… How to Use a Particulate Mask” to learn more about using an N95 mask. You must also wear an N95 mask when you leave the patient room and visit common areas where other patients and families are present.
  • Staff members must wear an N95 facemask or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) when entering the patient room. N95 facemasks or PAPR must be removed after leaving the room.
  • While the patient is being transported to and from the room, the patient must wear an N95 facemask and a clean gown and staff must wear an N95 facemask or PAPR.
  • Unless soiled or damaged, N95 masks can be re-used for up to 7 days.
  • Clean hands before entering and after leaving the patient room and before and after using gowns, masks, and gloves.
  • The Environmental Services staff will wear gowns, N95 masks, and gloves to clean the patient room and bathroom.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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