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J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Dec;39(6):714-22.

Survey of nasopharyngoscope decontamination methods in Canada.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Dahhousie University, Halifax, NS.



nasopharyngoscopes are essential tools in modern otolaryngology practice. Owing to their frequent and diverse use, it is important to ensure that they can be efficiently and thoroughly cleaned. To date, there are no official national guidelines provided by the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (CSOHNS) for decontamination of nasopharyngoscopes.


to compare flexible nasopharyngoscope decontamination practices across Canada.


a questionnaire regarding nasopharyngoscope cleaning procedures was distributed online to all otolaryngologists registered with the CSOHNS. The survey was anonymous. Topics addressed province, practice type, maintenance, operations, ventilation, and process development.


thirty-five percent of the 505 Canadian otolaryngologists contacted participated in the survey. Automated sterilization of nasopharyngoscopes is employed by 16% of participants, of which the majority of this use is in hospital settings. Over 61.3% of participants use a multistep decontaminating soak for cleaning. Decontamination procedures were created within the department in 59% of cases, and over 28.3% of participants are unsure as to whether their procedures adhere to infectious disease and industry standards.


various procedures are employed throughout Canada owing to a lack of standardization. Survey responses indicate that Canadian otolaryngologists would appreciate a national standard for the cleaning of flexible nasopharyngoscopes, particularly for nonhospital practices.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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