Question 12

Outline the design aspects and safety features of an intensive care single patient room, including the clinical rationale where appropriate. (Specific features of a negative/positive pressure room are not required in your answer).

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College answer

The answers to this question demonstrated a significant lack of breadth of knowledge with insufficient details of the categories discussed. Many candidates answered this question with reference to isolation rooms, instead of patient's single room.


The pass rate was 1.9%.

  • Design aspects:
    • Minimum 25 m2 in floor area (IC-1)
    • Windows with access to natural light
    • A clock at each bedspace (for patient orientation).
    • Sound absorbing materials should be used for floor coverings
    • At least four oxygen, three air, three suction and four data outlets, and at least 16 power points for each bedspace
    • The electrical wiring and protection of patient treatment areas must be Cardiac Protected Status AS3003
    • Adequate and appropriate lighting for clinical observation
    • Light controls with capacity for dimming
    • Adequate access to the head of the bed
    • Doors sufficiently wide to permit the entry of bulky equipment and bariatric beds
  • Safety features:
    • Ideally with own bathroom (to prevent cross-contaminaton of common facilities by patients with communicable disease)
    • Ideally an ante room (3m2) to facilitate isolation as needed
    • Individual wash basin with elbow-operated or foot-operated taps, inside the room to promote handwashing by staff and visitors
    • Alcohol hand rub holders inside and outside the doors
    • Internal and external patient monitoring display equipment
    • Windows from the ICU work area into the patient room, with curtains or other features such that might allow for privacy


CICM IC-1, or "Minimum Standards for Intensive Care Units". It can be found along with numerous other such publications in the CICM "Professional Documents" page.