Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Examination of staphylococcal stethoscope contamination in the emergency department (pilot) study (EXSSCITED pilot study)

  • Patrick H.P. Tang (a1), Andrew Worster (a1), Jocelyn A. Srigley (a2) and Cheryl L. Main (a2)

Abstract

Introduction:

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus-contaminated stethoscopes belonging to emergency department (ED) staff and to identify the proportion of these that were Staphylococcus aureus or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Methods:

We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of bacterial cultures from 100 ED staff members' stethoscopes at three EDs. Study participants were asked to complete a questionnaire.

Results:

Fifty-four specimens grew coagulase-negative staphylococci and one grew methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. No MRSA was cultured. Only 8% of participants, all of whom were nurses, reported cleaning their stethoscope before or after each patient assessment. Alcohol-based wipes were most commonly used to clean stethoscopes. A lack of time, being too busy, and forgetfulness were the most frequently reported reasons for not cleaning the stethoscope in the ED.

Conclusions:

This study indicates that although stethoscope contamination rates in these EDs are high, the prevalence of S. aureus or MRSA on stethoscopes is low.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Examination of staphylococcal stethoscope contamination in the emergency department (pilot) study (EXSSCITED pilot study)
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Examination of staphylococcal stethoscope contamination in the emergency department (pilot) study (EXSSCITED pilot study)
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Examination of staphylococcal stethoscope contamination in the emergency department (pilot) study (EXSSCITED pilot study)
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Hamilton General Hospital, 237 Barton Street East, McMaster Clinic, Room 250A, Hamilton, ON L8L 2X2; worster@mcmaster.ca

References

Hide All
1.de Gialluly, C, Morange, V, de Gialluly, E, et al. Blood pressure cuff as a potential vector of pathogenic microorganisms: a prospective study in a teaching hospital. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2006;27:940–3, doi:10.1086/507284.
2.Livornese, L, Dias, S, Samel, C, et al. Hospital-acquired infection with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium transmitted by electronic thermometers. Ann Intern Med 1992;117:112–6.
3.Mayon-White, R, Ducel, G, Kereselidze, T, et al. An international survey of the prevalence of hospital-acquired infection. J Hosp Infect 1988;11 Suppl A:43–8, doi:10.1016/0195-6701(88)90164-8.
4.Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, Surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 2006 results. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/nois-sinp/projects/mrsa-eng.php (accessed April 1, 2009).
5.Youngster, I, Berkovitch, M, Heyman, E, et al. The stethoscope as a vector of infectious diseases in the paediatric division. Acta Paediatr 2008;97:1253–5, doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00906.x.
6.Nunez, S, Moreno, A, Green, K, et al. The stethoscope in the emergency department: a vector of infection? Epidemiol Infect 2000;124:233–7, doi:10.1017/S0950268800003563.
7.Smith, M, Mathewson, J, Ulert, I, et al. Contaminated stethoscopes revisited. Arch Intern Med 1996;156:82–4, doi:10.1001/archinte.156.1.82.
8.Jones, J, Hoerle, D, Riekse, R. Stethoscopes: a potential vector of infection? Ann Emerg Med 1995;26:296–9, doi:10.1016/S0196-0644(95)70075-7.
9.Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, Surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Canadian hospitals—a report update from the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/dr3103a-eng.php (accessed November 8, 2009).
10.Moran, GJ, Krishnadasan, A, Gorwitz, RJ, et al. Methicillinresistant S. aureus infections among patients in the emergency department. N Engl J Med 2006;355:666–74, doi:10.1056/NEJMoa055356.
11.European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System Management Team, EARSS annual report 2007. Available at: http://www.rivm.nl/earss/Images/EARSS%202007_FINAL_tcm61-55933.pdf (accessed November 8, 2009).
12.Madar, R, Novakova, E, Baska, T. The role of non-critical health-care tools in the transmission of nosocomial infections. Bratisl Lek Listy 2005;106:348–50.
13.Sengupta, S, Sirkar, A, Shivananda, PG. Stethoscopes and nosocomial infection. Indian J Pediatr 2000;67:197–9, doi:10.1007/BF02723663.
14.Cohen, HA, Amir, J, Matalon, A, et al. Stethoscopes and otoscopes—a potential vector of infection? Fam Pract 1997;14:446–9, doi:10.1093/fampra/14.6.446.
15.Marinella, MA, Pierson, C, Chenoweth, C. The stethoscope: a potential source of nosocomial infection? Arch Intern Med 1997;157:786–90, doi:10.1001/archinte.157.7.786.
16.Hill, C, King, T, Day, R. A strategy to reduce MRSA colonization of stethoscopes. J Hosp Infect 2005;62:122–3, doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2005.03.013.

Keywords

Examination of staphylococcal stethoscope contamination in the emergency department (pilot) study (EXSSCITED pilot study)

  • Patrick H.P. Tang (a1), Andrew Worster (a1), Jocelyn A. Srigley (a2) and Cheryl L. Main (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.