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Cell Phones Carry Germs in Healthcare Environments

March 22, 2016

Disinfection procedures may not be adequate to protect patients.

While the use of cell phones and tablets can streamline healthcare operations, the devices could be harboring dangerous bacteria says a new study. Researchers from the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined the cell phone use of orthopedic surgeons in operating rooms by swabbing for bacteria before and after regular disinfection practices.

The scientists found that 83% of cell phones’ surfaces tested positive for pathogenic bacteria before disinfection and 8% still tested positive even after the regimen. Additionally, the study found that after a week had elapsed, 75% of devices again tested positive for the dangerous bacteria. The researchers suggest that given threats associated with device use, they should be disinfected frequently or not used at all in higher-risk areas.

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