Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 21, Issue 4, 2019; Page No.(1015-1018)

STETHESCOPE: A RESERVOIR OF NOSOCOMIAL PATHOGENS

VINAY N. GOWDA, SUSHMITHA M.S. AND PARIMALA S.

Abstract

Nosocomial infections are an important cause of increased morbidity and mortality. Stethoscope used by health care workers (HCW) are likely to be contaminated with microorganisms and they become a potential source of nosocomial infections. This study was conducted to screen the stethoscope of clinicians and to find out the common microorganisms on it and determine the cleaning practices of stethoscope among clinicians. A total of 60 stethoscopes were sampled and bacteriological culture was performed. A questionnaire was used to analyze the knowledge, attitude and practice in cleaning of stethoscopes. Out of the 60 stethoscopes screened the contamination rate was 100%. The diaphragm showed greater levels of contamination with pathogenic bacteria followed by the bell and ear pieces. 36% of the clinicians cleaned their stethoscopes every month, 36% cleaned every week. 18% never cleaned their stethoscopes. Our study confirmed that, majority of the stethoscopes used by clinicians are contaminated with both pathogenic as well as non pathogenic bacteria which acts as a potential source for transmission of infection.

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