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Stethoscope Contamination Revisited

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO

Bacteria and viruses may find stethoscope chestpieces an easy way to jump from one patient to another.A couple months ago we penned the blog “What’s Growing on Your Stethoscope,” in an effort to remind our readers of the importance of regularly cleaning their scopes. We guess the article was prescient as this past week major media outlets all reported what a number of studies have long ago confirmed – that the vast majority of scope chestpieces (the business end of the stethoscope) are vectors for a variety of bacteria and viruses. From BBC News to USA today to the Today show, the subject finally got the coverage it deserved. We applaud the media for bringing attention to this important subject and hope it will lead to the establishment of firm scope cleaning protocol – and more importantly, voluntary adoption by the healthcare industry.

Follow the links below for some of the recent media coverage:

USA Today: Stethoscopes could play a part in spreading germs

BBC News: Stethoscopes 'more contaminated' than doctors' hands

Medical Daily: Doctors' Stethoscopes Are Dirtier Than the Palms of Their Hands: How Clean is Clean Enough?

NPR: Stethoscopes Do As Much Dirty Work As Hands In Spreading Germs

TODAY Show (Video): Stethoscopes more germy than doctors' hands: Study

ADC currently offers a number of ultra low cost single patient use stethoscopes – ideal for general assessment and blood pressure measurement – that cost just pennies per patient to use. We’re also working on cost effective, easy to use solutions for premium stethoscopes.