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Rev Pneumol Clin. 2001 Apr;57(2):91-8.

[Prevention of nosocomial infection during nebulization and spirometry].

[Article in French]

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Service de pneumologie, Groupe hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, 75651 Paris Cedex 13.


The nebulizer, designed for the delivery of important quantities of drugs to the bronchi and lungs can also deliver microbial deposits. The risk can be one of recontaminating a patient with his/her own bacteria, contaminating other individuals (other patients or staff during a nebulization session from a patient infected by an ordinary germ or tuberculosis), or transmission via unclean equipment, contaminated water or medicines. The use of single-dose drug preparations, single-patient devices, sterile water, and rigorous applications of the protocols can considerably reduce the risk. Although respiratory function tests are done with expensive equipment that has to be reused, sometimes by a large number of patients in the same day, cases of cross-contamination are exceptional. Closed spirometers are however a risk. The use of single-use filters can save money and time needed to clean all the device parts used in connection with the inspiratory circuit during respiratory tests. In intensive care units, the passage of spirometers from one patient to the next without a cleaning procedure is a situation of risk. In all these situations, implementation of cleaning protocols allows to reduce this risk, although zero risk cannot be achieved especially for recontamination of patients by their own bacteria during nebulization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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