“By considering that stethoscopes are used repeatedly over the course of a day, come directly into contact with patients’ skin, and may harbor several thousands of bacteria (including MRSA) collected during a previous physical examination, we consider them as potentially significant vectors of transmission,” (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 89, Issue 3, Pages 291–299, March 2014)

  • 68.3% of physicians’ stethoscopes were contaminated with 92% having coagulase-negative staphylococcus. (Alothman, A., Open Infectious Diseases Journal, 3, 80-82. 2009)
  • MRSA was detected in 70% of stethoscopes. (Dias, C., Revista De Microbiologia, 28(2), 82-84, 1997)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated roughly 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of bacteria combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year, with the annual cost range to be around $11 billion. (Klevens, R Monina et al. Estimating Health Care-associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals, 2002, Public Health Reports 122.2 (2007): 160-166)
  • From Mayo Clinic Proceedings March 2014:89(3)291-299: Conclusion: The contamination level of the stethoscope is substantial after a single physical examination and comparable to the contamination of parts of the physician’s dominant hand. (2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research n Mayo Clin Proc. 2014;89(3):291-299) 

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