Advertisement

Predictors of stethoscope disinfection among pediatric health care providers

Published:April 05, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2011.11.021

      Background

      Stethoscopes are contaminated with bacteria, but predictors of stethoscope disinfection frequency are unknown. We sought to describe health care provider stethoscope disinfection attitudes and practices and determine predictors of frequent disinfection.

      Methods

      We used an anonymous online survey of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians at a pediatric hospital. We assessed frequency and methods of disinfection, perceptions of contamination, and barriers to disinfection. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify independent predictors of disinfecting after every use.

      Results

      One thousand four hundred one respondents completed the survey: 76% believed that infection transmission occurs via stethoscopes, but only 24% reported disinfecting after every use. In multivariate analyses, belief that infection transmission occurs via stethoscopes significantly increased the odds of disinfection after every use (odds ratio [OR], 2.06 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.38-3.06]). The odds of disinfection after every use were significantly decreased in those who perceived the following barriers: lack of time (OR, 0.31 [95% CI: 0.18-0.54]), lack of access to disinfection material (OR, 0.41 [95% CI: 0.29-0.57]), or lack of visual reminders to disinfect (OR, 0.22 [95% CI: 0.14-0.34]).

      Conclusion

      Only a minority of pediatric health care providers reported disinfecting their stethoscopes after every use. Increasing access to disinfection materials and visual reminders in health care facilities may improve stethoscope disinfection practices.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Infection Control
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Gerken A.
        • Cavanagh S.
        • Winner H.I.
        Infection hazard from stethoscopes in hospital.
        Lancet. 1972; 1: 1214-1215
        • Breathnach A.S.
        • Jenkins D.R.
        • Pedler S.J.
        Stethoscopes as possible vectors of infection by staphylococci.
        BMJ. 1992; 305: 1573-1574
        • Jones J.S.
        • Hoerle D.
        • Riekse R.
        Stethoscopes: a potential vector of infection?.
        Ann Emerg Med. 1995; 26: 296-299
        • Murphy K.J.
        Infection hazard from stethoscopes.
        Lancet. 1972; 2: 598-599
        • Varghese D.
        • Patel H.
        Hand washing: stethoscopes and white coats are sources of nosocomial infection.
        BMJ. 1999; 319: 519
        • Schroeder A.
        • Schroeder M.A.
        • D’Amico F.
        What’s growing on your stethoscope? (And what you can do about it).
        J Fam Pract. 2009; 58: 404-409
        • Williams C.
        • Davis D.L.
        Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus fomite survival.
        Clin Lab Sci. 2009; 22: 34-38
        • Cohen H.A.
        • Amir J.
        • Matalon A.
        • Mayan R.
        • Beni S.
        • Barzilai A.
        Stethoscopes and otoscopes: a potential vector of infection?.
        Fam Pract. 1997; 14: 446-449
        • Youngster I.
        • Berkovitch M.
        • Heyman E.
        • Lazarovitch Z.
        • Goldman M.
        The stethoscope as a vector of infectious diseases in the paediatric division.
        Acta Paediatr. 2008; 97: 1253-1255
        • Guinto C.H.
        • Bottone E.J.
        • Raffalli J.T.
        • Montecalvo M.A.
        • Wormser G.P.
        Evaluation of dedicated stethoscopes as a potential source of nosocomial pathogens.
        Am J Infect Control. 2002; 30: 499-502
        • Lange C.G.
        • Morrissey A.B.
        • Donskey C.J.
        Point-prevalence of contamination of health care workers’ stethoscopes with vancomycin-resistant enterococci at two teaching hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2000; 21: 756
        • Zachary K.C.
        • Bayne P.S.
        • Morrison V.J.
        • Ford D.S.
        • Silver L.C.
        • Hooper D.C.
        Contamination of gowns, gloves, and stethoscopes with vancomycin-resistant enterococci.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2001; 22: 560-564
        • Whittington A.M.
        • Whitlow G.
        • Hewson D.
        • Thomas C.
        • Brett S.J.
        Bacterial contamination of stethoscopes on the intensive care unit.
        Anaesthesia. 2009; 64: 620-624
        • Bernard L.
        • Kereveur A.
        • Durand D.
        • Gonot J.
        • Goldstein F.
        • Mainardi J.L.
        • et al.
        Bacterial contamination of hospital physicians’ stethoscopes.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1999; 20: 626-628
        • Mehta A.K.
        • Halvosa J.S.
        • Gould C.V.
        • Steinberg J.P.
        Efficacy of alcohol-based hand rubs in the disinfection of stethoscopes.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31: 870-872
        • American Academy of Pediatrics
        Committee on Infectious Diseases. Infection prevention and control in pediatric ambulatory settings.
        Pediatrics. 2007; 120: 650-665
      1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rutala WA, Weber DJ, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). Guideline for disinfection and sterilization in healthcare facilities, 2008. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/guidelines/Disinfection_Nov_2008.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2011.

        • Crespo M.P.
        • Woodford N.
        • Sinclair A.
        • Kaufmann M.E.
        • Turton J.
        • Glover J.
        • et al.
        Outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa producing VIM-8, a novel metallo-β-lactamase, in a tertiary care center in Cali, Colombia.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2004; 42: 5094-5101
        • Gastmeier P.
        • Groneberg K.
        • Weist K.
        • Ruden H.
        A cluster of nosocomial Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infections in a neonatal intensive care department: identification of transmission and intervention.
        Am J Infect Control. 2003; 31: 424-430
        • Gupta A.
        • Della-Latta P.
        • Todd B.
        • San Gabriel P.
        • Haas J.
        • Wu F.
        • et al.
        Outbreak of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a neonatal intensive care unit linked to artificial nails.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2004; 25: 210-215
        • Vajravelu R.K.
        • Guerrero D.M.
        • Jury L.A.
        • Donskey C.J.
        Evaluation of stethoscopes as vectors of Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012; 33: 96-98