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Infection Control in Pulmonary Function Laboratories

  • Ofelia C. Tablan (a1), Walter W. Williams (a1) and William J. Martone (a1)


The role of the pulmonary function (PF) laboratory and PF testing equipment in the transmission of infections has not been established. Although microorganisms have been cultured from parts of in-use pulmonary function testing equipment, a relationship between equipment contamination and transmission of infection or colonization has not been documented. Nosocomial outbreaks of respiratory infections, eg, influenza, tuberculosis, and legionellosis have been described, but transmission of the microorganisms has not been shown to be more likely in the PF laboratory or with PF testing equipment than in other areas in the hospital or with other hospital equipment. Unlike nebulizers, which have been implicated in epidemic and endemic nosocomial gram-negative bacterial infections, PF machines do not generate aerosols. PF testing equipment is thus built without provision for easy machine disassembly and disinfection, except for parts that routinely come in contact with mucous membranes or secretions (eg, mouthpieces, valves, and some tubings).


Corresponding author

Hospital Infections Program, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333


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Infection Control in Pulmonary Function Laboratories

  • Ofelia C. Tablan (a1), Walter W. Williams (a1) and William J. Martone (a1)


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