Mobile phones as germ carriers in medical settings

Forty percent of mobile phones used by students in health care professions are contaminated with germs. At the top of the list are Staphylococcus aureus, a problematic germ in the clinical environment and the main cause of nosocomial infections in Germany.

Caution when using mobile phones in clinics and hospitals

Forty percent of mobile phones used by students in health care professions are contaminated with germs. At the top of the list are Staphylococcus aureus, a problematic germ in the clinical environment and the main cause of nosocomial infections in Germany.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, are often a problem in the clinical environment. In the healthcare system, such germs can be found in both outpatient and inpatient settings. A recent study showed that the use of mobile phones in healthcare could also have a negative impact on the bacterial resistance question: Almost every second mobile phone of prospective employees in the medical field was contaminated with "hospital germs". Is there a rising conflict between hygiene requirements and the growing reliance on digital personal devices in the healthcare system?

A total of 100 mobile phones of students from nursing, dentistry, etc. were examined in this small study. About 40% of the phones were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus as a result. Seventy percent of these devices belonged to future nurses. Up to 85% of the staphylococci found were also resistant to penicillin. A good insight: None of the samples detected Escherichia coli.

On the basis of their data, the study authors consider that caution is appropriate when using mobile phones in the healthcare system. There is at least one possibility of transmission of nosocomial infections.

Source:
Eller LKW et al., Dissemination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by University Student's Cell Phones. ASM Microbe 2019 CPHM-903

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