A recent study conducted in Turkey showed that cell phones used by doctors, nurses and other health care staff have significant growth of bacteria. Ninety percent of health care workers said they never cleaned their cellphones.
200 doctors, nurses and other health care staff agreed to have their hands and their cell phones tested for bacteria. 95% of mobile phones had growth of bacteria, and the bacterial species matched those cultured from the hands of the owners. Even more concerning is that 52% of the staph species cultured from the phones and 38% from the hands of health care workers grew a resistant species called methicillin resistant Staphlococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is often a resistant organisms which grows in hospital and other settings where patients have received many antibiotics, resulting in the proliferation of hardier strains of a bacteria.
Studies show that bacteria is found on doctors’ ties, cell phones and hands. Handwashing and keeping personal items clean are two important things that health care workers can do to prevent the spread of bacteria to patients.
Ulger F, et. al. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2009:8:7.
Last Updated August 13, 2010