Despite the evolution of medicine and alternative therapies, infections acquired in the hospital remain a major problem of the health system.
Mobile phones are commonly used for fast communication in the healthcare environment. They are used everywhere, even in toilets. Therefore, they can be sources for the transmission of pathogens to patients and beyond. These are rarely clean and are often achieved during or after examination of the patient without proper hand hygiene.
To confirm the veracity of these claims, a study was conducted that aimed to examine the presence of pathogenic bacteria on the surfaces of mobile phones frequently used by trainee students. This study identified both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria on cell phones of 105 future doctors. Of these, 101 devices (96.2%) were contaminated with bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus was identified on 17 of them (16.2%). Gram-positive bacilli were identified on 20 of the examined phones (19%). Virus streptococci and Pantoea species have also been identified, but at lower levels.
Research indicates that mobile phones can act as the "host" of pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms. Therefore, it is recommended to restrict the use of mobile phones in clinical settings, good hand hygiene and frequent decontamination of mobile devices, to limit the risk of cross contamination and infections associated with healthcare.
At present, there are efficient disinfectants for surfaces and for the hygiene of the hands and the medical instruments. There is no specific policy that prohibits the use of mobile phones in healthcare facilities, although some posters asking employees, patients and visitors to refrain from using or bringing them to health facilities.
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