SUbhead: Are doctors’ stethoscopes more contaminated with bacteria than their hands?
When it comes to sources of bacterial contamination in hospitals, researchers have identified a new public enemy stethoscopes.
According to a new study published in the journal Mayo Clinics Proceedings when the ever-present stethoscope comes into contact with a patient’s skin just once it can end up even more contaminated than a doctor’s hand.
To explore the issue experts spent 5 months in 2009 analyzing bacterial content on sterile stethoscopes following a single examination of 71 patients at a Swiss university teaching hospital.
The 3 attending doctors who either wore sterile gloves or scrubbed down before examining patients also offered their dominant hand for analysis.
Investigators found that the flat diaphragm section of the stethoscope was more contaminated