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Microbios. 1992;72(292-293):161-6.

Microbial contamination of ambient air by ultrasonic humidifier and preventive measures.

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Department of Pharmacy, Yamaguchi University Hospital, Ube, Japan.


The microbially contaminated ultrasonic humidifier (UH) causes humidifier fever. The number of airborne viable bacteria was determined when the UH was operating, and other methods to humidify the air of hospital wards were also examined. A UH contaminated with 10(5) bacteria ml(-1), a level common in hospitals, increased the bacterial count in the air from 860 m(-3) to 88,000 m(-3) at a distance of 3 m from the humidifier. Thus UH in hospitals may contaminate the air and be a potential hazard to patients. Contamination was slight when a washable and disinfectable ultrasonic nebulizer was used with disinfection at 24 h intervals. In tracheostomy patients requiring a high degree of air humidification, ultrasonic nebulizers which are readily washed and disinfected are recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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