Penn Study Stethoscopes Are Loaded With Bacteria
Nurses use stethoscopes every day and assess many patients each day during physical exams. Stethoscopes can become a breeding ground of bacteria and should be cleaned after each patient. Using a 70% alcohol pads and wipe the diaphragm after each use. You can also use a larger alcohol wipe at the beginning and end of each shift. Large alcohol wipes like here. Make sure you are using a 70% alcohol.
General Stethoscopes Cleaning Tips
According to Littman , Stethoscope cleaning recommendations are as follows:
General cleaning tips
- If your stethoscope needs to be disinfected, wipe with a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution.
- Do not use hand sanitizer as a cleaning agent as there are additives that may damage parts of the stethoscope.
- Do not immerse your stethoscope in any liquid, or subject it to any sterilization process.
- Keep your stethoscope away from extreme heat, cold, solvents and oils.
- Tunable diaphragms can be removed from the chest piece and their surfaces wiped with alcohol or soapy water. Dry all parts thoroughly before reassembly.
- Eartips can be removed from the eartubes for thorough cleaning. For safety, snap eartips firmly back onto the ribbed ends of the eartubes.