Decreasing bacterial cross-contamination with a pulsating nasal irrigation device

M Keen, P Chen, Peter Wormald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The use of nasal irrigation in the management of postoperative endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) patients is commonplace; however, the potential contamination of these bottles is concerning. The Sinugator® cordless pulsating nasal wash (NeilMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Santa Rosa, CA) is a battery-operated, positive pressure, pulsatile pump with a unidirectional flow. The principal aim of this study was to determine the incidence of cross-contamination using the pulsating nasal irrigation device and compare it with the traditional squeeze bottle. Methods: Eleven post-ESS patients were given a NeilMed Sinugator nasal wash to use 3 times per day. A sterile nasal swab was obtained at the initial and second postoperative visits. A swab of the plastic irrigation reservoir was collected at the second visit. Results: The overall contamination rate of bottles was found to be 45%. During the study several different organisms were cultured in the nose and bottles. The most commonly isolated organisms were coliforms and Staphylococcus aureus. We did not observe concomitant organisms in the nasal cultures and bottles in any subject. Conclusion: Despite using a motorized irrigation device, patients and their bottles grew positive cultures. However, no cross-contamination between the patients and bottles was identified, which can be attributed to a design that minimizes backwash.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)632-634
    Number of pages3
    JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


    • Bacteria
    • Chronic rhinosinusitis
    • Contamination
    • Nasal douche
    • Nasal irrigation


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