A clean room is a sterile, hypoallergenic environment for the treatment of patients suffering from severe immunodeficiency or environmental allergies.
The basic design element of the clean room is that it is kept under positive air pressure so that air flow is always out of the room unless it comes from the filtered air supply. This prevents allergens and contagious diseases from entering the room. The room also has a strict protocol for entry, requiring staff that enter to go through the same procedures as are required for surgery. Bedding is made of natural fibers such as silk or other hypoallergenic materials, such as sterile foam. For the most part, the room is kept sealed while the patient is inside.
Although clean rooms are somewhat effective in preventing infection, they cannot prevent it indefinitely, particularly in patients who have little or no immune system left.
Clean rooms have been featured in several episodes:
- In Occam's Razor, the patient is kept in a clean room as any infection will kill him.
- In Damned If You Do, the patient is kept in a clean room due to her severe allergy symptoms. Incredibly, the symptoms continue in the clean room.