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ORL Head Neck Nurs. 2005 Spring;23(2):25-7.

The risk of patient cross-contamination from Venturi-Principle atomizers.

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Department of Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, USA.


Otolaryngology clinicians care for numerous immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients with transmissible bacterial, viral and fungal infections, including serious pathogens, such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), tuberculosis (TB), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In addition, otolaryngology clinicians commonly use a device to deliver topical anesthetics and decongestants to the nose and throat with a known potential to cross-contaminate patients, the air-driven DeVilbiss atomizer, which operates according to the Venturi principle. This article will review the mechanism of action of the air-driven atomizer and discuss the literature which demonstrates the associated a risk for patient cross-contamination.

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