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Revista chilena de infectología

Print version ISSN 0716-1018


ZUNIGA, Andrés; MANALICH, Jaime  and  CORTES, Rosario. Stethoscope or staphyloscope?: Potential vector in nosocomial infections. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2016, vol.33, n.1, pp.19-25. ISSN 0716-1018.

Healthcare-associated infections (HCAI) are a problem worldwide. In our country, the estimated incidence of HCAI is 70,000 per year. This results in an increase in the average length of hospital stay by 10 days per patient, an estimated annual cost of US $ 70 million and an overstay of 700 thousand bed days a year. For over 30 years stethoscopes have been considered as potential HCAI vectors, since pathogens like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus strains adhere and colonize them. These organisms can be transmitted between patients if the instruments are not sanitized. Several studies conclude that disinfecting the stethoscope with isopropyl alcohol eliminates up to 99% of bacteria. Simple, economic measures such as implementation of guidelines for stethoscope disinfection are a clear opportunity for preventing infections.

Keywords : Stethoscope; equipment contamination; Healthcare Associated Infections; Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus; decontamination.

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