Introduction: Cross-contamination of Venturi atomizers has been reported. Methods: In phase I, 16 atomizers were sterilized and refilled with either 1% lidocaine or 0.1% Tyzine (day 0). During phase II, atomizers were wiped with isopropyl alcohol wipes between uses. In both phases, on days 7, 14, 21, and 28, the contents of the atomizer were sprayed onto two culture media. If a culture was found positive, cultures from the nozzle, lumen, and solution were taken and cultured in depth. Results: Twelve lidocaine bottles and three Tyzine bottles were initially positive. There were more positive cultures from lidocaine bottles than Tyzine bottles at 2 weeks (p = 0.02). After wiping with isopropyl alcohol, contamination was significantly reduced in the lidocaine bottles at 2 weeks (p = 0.02). Conclusion: Microbial contamination of questionable clinical significance may occur with nasal atomizers. Regardless of this significance, wiping the devices with isopropyl alcohol can eliminate microbial growth for a 2-week interval.
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