Whereas high-flow nasal cannula use is gaining prevalence, its high gas flow raises concerns about aerosolization of infectious particles and spread of infection. This randomized controlled crossover non-inferiority trial (N = 20) evaluated the degree of environmental contamination by viable bacteria associated with the use of high-flow nasal cannula compared with conventional oxygen mask for critically ill patients with Gram-negative pneumonia. The results show that high-flow nasal cannula use was not associated with increased air or contact surface contamination by either Gram-negative bacteria or total bacteria, suggesting that additional infection control measures are not required.
Keywords: Bacterial pneumonia; Environmental contamination; Infection control; Infectious disease transmission; Oxygen therapy.
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