Study finds hospital mobile phones transmit message of MRSA
Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, March 16, 2009
A study recently published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials suggests hospital phones could be spreading more than information.
Medical researchers from the Ondokuz Mayis University, located in Samsun, Turkey, tested samples from the hands of 200 ICU and OR healthcare workers from various hospitals, and performed cultures on 200 mobile phones, and found 95% of the phones were contaminated with bacteria including MRSA. Other microorganisms that surfaced have been linked to hospital-acquired infections. The study, which states the bacteria from both examinations was similar, suggests the hospital phones may allow for increased patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria in hospital settings.
In addition, researchers found only 10% of healthcare workers routinely cleaned hospital phones.
Study authors stress the need for healthcare workers to be trained on firm infection control practices, hand hygiene, and environmental disinfection.
They recommend preventative measures, such as regular decontamination of hospital phones with "alcohol containing disinfectant materials" and the use of "antimicrobial additive materials" to cut cross-infection.
Source: Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials