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Original Article

Korean J healthc assoc Infect Control Prev 2009; 14(2): 61-65

Published online December 31, 2009 https://doi.org/10.14192/kjicp.1970.0.0.

Copyright © Korean Society for Healthcare-associated Control and Prevention.

Evaluation of the Contaminant Bacteria Isolated from Humidifiers Used in the Intensive Care Unit

Infection Control Team, Konyang University Hospital1, Department of Laboratory Medicine2 and Division of Infectious Disease3, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea

Abstract

Background: This study aims to obtain basic data regarding the proper maintenance and potential role of humidifiers in the development of nosocomial pneumonia. We investigated into a spectrum of bacteria that grew after disinfection in humidifiers that were used in intensive care units (ICUs). The bacteria were isolated at different time points after disinfection.
Methods: We randomly selected 6 humidifiers that were used in an ICU and conducted a series of bacterial culture studies at 24 hr, 48 hr, 72 hr and 168 hr after disinfecting the six humidifiers. The fluid from the humidifider was cultured in the same manner as the dialysate.
Results: No bacteria were isolated in most of the 6 humidifiers 24 hr after the disinfection of the instruments. Gram-negative bacilli such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Burkholderia cepacia, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were cultured at 48 hr after disinfection.
Conclusion: Regular and thorough disinfection of humidifiers is necessary to prevent possible spread of infection via humidifiers in the ICU.

Keywords: Humidifiers, Disinfection, Acinetobacter baumannii

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