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Bacterial Contamination of Hospital Physicians' Stethoscopes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Louis Bernard*
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Anne Kereveur
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Dominique Durand
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Jeanne Gonot
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Fred Goldstein
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Jean Luc Mainardi
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Joseph Acar
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
Jean Carlet
Affiliation:
Hôpital Saint Joseph, Paris, France
*
Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Raymond-Poincaré, 104, boulevard Raymond-Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France

Abstract

Because stethoscopes might be potential vectors of nosocomial infections, this study, conducted in a 450-bed general hospital, was devised to evaluate the bacterial contamination of stethoscopes; bacterial survival on stethoscope membranes; the kinetics of the bacterial load on stethoscope membranes during clinical use; and the efficacy of 70% alcohol or liquid soap for membrane disinfection. Among the 355 stethoscopes tested, 234 carried ≥2 different bacterial species; 31 carried potentially pathogenic bacteria. Although some bacteria deposited onto membranes could survive 6 to 18 hours, none survived after disinfection.

Type
Concise Communications
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 1999

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