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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.

According to a recent article Penn professor: stethoscope are loaded with bacteria



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.




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