Stethoscopes as potential intrahospital carriers of pathogenic microorganisms
Alejandro Campos-Murguía, Ximena León-Lara, Juan M. Muñoz, Alejandro E. Macías, José A. Álvarez
Postgraduate Program – Master’s Degree in Biomedical Science/Uniararas, Araras, São Paulo, Brasil.
Stethoscopes can take part in the transmission of health care-associated infections. We cultured 112 stethoscopes by direct imprint on blood agar to estimate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Forty-eight (47%) produced 50 potentially pathogenic microorganisms; from these, 43 (86%) were Staphylococcus aureus, of which 18 (42%) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus. We concluded that stethoscopes should be considered as potential fomites and must be disinfected routinely before and after each patient contact.
Fomites, Contamination, Disinfection.