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Stethoscope poses health risk

by Admin
0 comment

The potential risk of cross-contamination is very high in medical instrument especially stethoscope, if the hands are not disinfected between examination of two patients.

According to a research carried out by the University of Geneva in cooperation with the Swiss National Science Foundation, it was found that the stethoscope and the glove used by doctors even though sterilised prior to the examinations, had bacteria transferred onto them after single examination. Overall, the study found that after the examinations, the most contaminated areas were the fingertips, followed by the diaphragm (the round “listening part”) of the stethoscope. The study was made on 71 patients. Doctors were asked to perform a routine physical examination of these patients. None of the patients had an active skin infection but around half were known to be colonised with MRSA before the examination took place.

The report divulged that transferring equipment from one patient to another without disinfecting the items in-between could pose as much of a risk as unwashed hands.

The researchers included a sample of adult patients from medical or orthopaedic wards who were in a stable medical condition and did not have an obvious skin infection. However, they also included a sample of people who were found to be colonised with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on standard hospital admission screening.

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