Stethoscopes: A Possible Mode for Transmission of Nosocomial Pathogens 1173-1176
Dharm Raj Bhatta, Lecturer, MCOMS,
Background: The stethoscope, which is universally used as a medical device by health care workers, is likely to be contaminated by microorganisms, if it is not cleaned/disinfected and may transmit pathogens from one patient to another. Objectives: This study was conducted to check the level of stethoscope contamination, to survey the practices of cleaning and disinfecting the stethoscope and to suggest remedial measures for it.
Material and Methods: A total of 58 stethoscopes were sampled and questionnaires were distributed among the participants. Bacteriological cultures of the samples were done on blood and MacConkey agar plates.
Results: Out of a total of 58 diaphragms, 52 (89.65%) were colonized by bacteria. Only 38 (65.51%) bells were found to be contaminated. Out of a total of 116 earpieces (58 left and 58 right), 84 (72.41%) were contaminated.
Conclusion: Our study confirmed that, majority of the stethoscopes used by health care workers are contaminated with pathogenic as well as non-pathogenic bacterial agents and they may transmit nosocomial pathogens.