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Aseptic Barriers Allow a Clean Contact for Contaminated Stethoscope Diaphragms.

  • Author(s): Vasudevan, Rajiv
  • Shin, Ji H
  • Chopyk, Jessica
  • Peacock, William F
  • Torriani, Francesca J
  • Maisel, Alan S
  • Pride, David T
  • et al.

Objective:To determine whether a single-use stethoscope diaphragm barrier surface remains aseptic when placed on pathogen-contaminated stethoscopes. Methods:From May 31 to August 5, 2019, we tested 2 separate barriers using 3 different strains of 7 human pathogens, including extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium. Results:For all diaphragms with either of the 2 barriers tested, no growth was recorded for any of the pathogens. Stethoscopes with aseptic barriers remained sterile for up to 24 hours. These single-use barriers also provided aseptic surfaces when stethoscope diaphragms were inoculated with human specimens, including saliva, stool, urine, and sputum. Conclusion:Disposable aseptic diaphragm barriers may provide robust and efficient solutions to reduce transmission of pathogens via stethoscopes.

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