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The hospital infection control policy suggests that the stethoscope diaphragm should be cleaned before and after each patient contact. You wonder whether regular cleaning of stethoscopes results in a reduction in hospital acquired infections.
Structured clinical question
In hospital patients [population], does regular cleaning of stethoscopes [intervention] reduce the incidence of nosocomial infection [outcome]?
Search strategy and outcome
The following resources were searched: Cochrane Library, Trip Database, Medline, PubMed, NHS Evidence and NICE. PubMed search words used were “stethoscope” AND “nosocomial”, “hospital acquired”, “HAI” AND “infection”, “pathogen”. No limits were placed on the search. Fourteen of the papers found were relevant and after further review, four were chosen (table 2).
Hospital acquired infections are increasing worldwide. In the UK and Ireland (excluding Scotland), the prevalence of healthcare associated infection (HAI) was 7.6% in 2006.1 The Centers for Disease …