Fact Check

FDA Finally Approves the Ativan Diffuser for all Hospital Units

FALSE: The FDA has approved an Ativan diffuser for use in hospitals.

Published March 23, 2015


Claim:   The FDA has approved an ativan diffuser for use in hospitals.


Example:   [Collected via Twitter, March 2015]

I WAS A NURSE..ALL NURSES SHOULD HAVE THIS! FDA Finally Approves The Ativan Diffuser for all Hospital Units


Origins:   On 22 March 2015, Gomer Blog published an article titled "FDA Finally Approves the Ativan Diffuser for All Hospital Units," positing that the FDA had approved hospital use of a mechanism for disseminating anxiety medication throughout a ward:

In a closely contested vote, the FDA approved a new medical delivery device this week, the H-Vape 86. It is an Ativan air diffuser that looks like a Vicks Vaporub humidifier, yet it can do much more.

The diffuser sits strategically in front of the charge RN of the floor, away from air return ducts. The potency of Ativan is regulated by a dial on the back of the diffuser. As tensions rise such as with yelling patients, high patient to nurse ratios, and patients who persistently press the call button every 5 minutes, the dial may be titrated to effect to produce a stronger vapor pressure.

The approved model is equipped for any combination of medication, says [its inventor]. "Haldol, Valium, you name it. It is customizable depending on the craziness of patients you have on your ward."


The article included a purported quote from a nurse explaining how an ativan diffuser benefited patients and staff:

Charge nurse, Greg Wilcox had this to say: "The beauty is two fold. Patients seem to chill out significantly, but even if they don't, hospital staff's tolerance for stupidity increases, in effect making things run smoother. I plan to crank that diffuser way up on my nights, that's a promise!"


Gomer Blog's (GOMER is an acronym for "Get Out of My Emergency Room") specialized brand of satire has occasionally escaped those who don't work in medicine, such as when an article poking fun at strict rules imposed upon nurses' stations circulated widely in October 2014. However, a disclaimer page on the site states:

Welcome to the disclaimer page! You found it because you were either bored or thought one of the posts were true! Either way this should explain some things. Gomerblog.com is strictly a satirical and fake news blog site. All articles are fake and not intended to diagnosis medical conditions or to give medical advice. Please see a real medical website or your doctor for diagnosis and any medical advice. Please don't take any advice from our website.


Previous articles featured on the site shared themes of common healthcare worker gripes couched as humorous reports, such as "Surgeon Furious That X-ray Tech Not Available 2.3 Seconds After Demanding X-ray in OR," "Joint Commission Cites Itself as a Major Hindrance to Medical Care," and "ER Places Bowl Full of Percocet in Waiting Room, Lowers Visits."

Last updated:   23 March 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.