Dirty stethoscopes in ER's - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/9/09

Dirty stethoscopes in ER's

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A new study suggests that one in three stethoscopes used by emergency workers is contaminated with MRSA, a potentially fatal bacterial infection. 

Over a 24-hour period, researchers swabbed 50 stethoscopes from nurses, EMT's, and paramedics in a New Jersey hospital emergency room.  Of those 50 stethoscopes, one in three had evidence of MRSA.  Of course, that wouldn't be a threat to anyone unless the bacteria on the stethoscope touched an open sore on the patient. 

The study, in the current issue of Prehospital Emergency Care, suggests providing alcohol wipes at all ER entrances so that medical professionals can clean their equipment regularly.

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