Cell Phones Spread Infections In Hospitals
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Cell Phones In The Hospital.
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There was no significant difference in the contamination of mobile phones between male and female clinicians Although not statistically significant, mobile phone contamination remained consistently higher in NCUs compared to ICUs and PICUs after stratification by gender, hospital, and the average number of patients seen by clinicians. The only factor that showed significant association with mobile phone contamination in univariate analysis was whether the clinicians have ever disinfected their mobile phones; crude odds ratio 2. This was the only factor significantly associated with mobile phone contamination in multivariate analysis, adjusted odds ratio 2. This is higher than that reported from Saudi Arabia, where Although not statistically significant, the contamination rate was higher in NCUs This remains evident even after adjusting for other factors using logistic regression.
Most mobile phones were colonized with non-pathogenic bacteria, especially those bacteria that constitute the normal flora of the skin, such as CoNS, Micrococcus , and diphtheroids. CoNS have relatively low virulence, but are becoming increasingly recognized as the most common cause of nosocomial bacteraemia associated with indwelling devices [ 23 ]. Despite the fact that CoNS are considered non-pathogenic in normal circumstances, their presence in high levels on objects with frequent hand contact like mobile phones in settings like ICUs may pose a risk of bacteraemia in immunocompromised patients[ 9 ].
In addition, CoNS are identified as the most common cause of late-onset neonatal sepsis in developed countries [ 24 — 26 ] and in Kuwait [ 22 ]. CoNS have been also reported as the main causative factor for early-onset neonatal infections in Canada [ 24 ], USA [ 27 ], and China [ 28 ]. A number of mobile phones in our study were found to be colonized with potentially pathogenic bacteria, namely MRSA and Gram-negative bacteria. Acinetobacter species have been frequently identified as a cause of widespread hospital outbreaks, including those in ICUs [ 30 ]. Gram-negative bacteria were identified in 15 7. Another organism identified in our study was Pseudomonas stutzeri , which was found to be sensitive to gentamicin and amikacin.
In addition, Escherichia coli was isolated from one mobile phone, which suggests low level of mobile phone hygiene and hand hygiene since this organism is part of the intestinal flora; and among the leading causes of HAIs. In terms of self-reported mobile phone hygiene practices, This is similar to that reported from Saudi Arabia, where Our study showed that clinicians who have ever disinfected their mobile phones were less likely to have contaminated mobile phones compared to clinicians who have never disinfected their mobile phones, and this was statistically significant after adjusting for potential confounders. No other factors was significantly associated with mobile phone contamination in our study.
Other studies have investigated factors related to mobile phone contamination and included gender of the clinician, number of times the mobile phone is used at work, type of phone, and medical specialty of the clinician; but none of these factors was found to be significant [ 5 , 8 , 10 , 12 ]. Previously, it has been demonstrated that observed hand hygiene practices are unrelated or weakly correlated to self-reported hand hygiene [ 33 — 35 ], which may explain our findings. In our study, we investigated the opinion of clinicians about the potential role of mobile phones in spreading nosocomial infections. Approximately, However, This is slightly lower than what has been reported in a study from UK, in which While losing the momentum to ban mobile phones in ICUs and other clinical settings, it is sensible to increase the awareness about mobile phones disinfection rather than trying to forcefully ban using mobile phones in clinical settings.
However, of eligible clinicians who were not officially on leave, 18 were not approachable despite the four attempts we made to recruit them Fig. Nevertheless, there is no obvious reason to assume that mobile phone contamination and mobile phone disinfection practices would be different between those who participated and those who did not.
It is possible that some clinicians had disinfected their mobile phones when they overheard about the study and before they were approached to participate Hawthorne effect. This, if exists, will underestimate the microbiological contamination rate and will also make a fallacious association between self-reported mobile phone disinfection and mobile phone contamination. Although most microorganisms can be considered non-pathogenic in normal circumstances, these are potentially harmful in ICU and NCU settings, where patients are extremely vulnerable to infections.
Kuwait, like other countries in the Gulf region, has introduced a sophisticated tertiary care but probably without considerable effort to reduce infections associated with these services. Our findings highlight the need for a more comprehensive approach to reduce nosocomial infections, which in addition to promoting hand hygiene also focus on cleanliness of mobile phones and other objects that clinicians may carry. Only minority of clinicians have ever disinfected their mobile phones, which is not an optimal practice and highlights the need to increase the awareness about mobile phones disinfection among clinicians, given that banning mobile phones in ICU settings is losing momentum.
Finally, further research is needed in order to provide evidence that better mobile phone hygiene will lead to a reduction in HAIs. World Health Organization. WHO Report on the burden of endemic health care-associated infection worldwide. Hospital epidemiology and infection control in acute-care settings. Clin Microbiol Rev. Newby J. Nosocomial infection in neonates: inevitable or preventable?
J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. Article PubMed Google Scholar. London: Thames Valley University; Google Scholar. Bacterial contamination of health care workers' pagers and the efficacy of various disinfecting agents. Pediatr Infect Dis J. Microbial flora on doctors' white coats. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcal contamination of cellular phones of personnel in a veterinary teaching hospital.
BMC Res Notes. Review of mobile communication devices as potential reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens. J Hosp Infect. Is your phone bugged? The incidence of bacteria known to cause nosocomial infection on healthcare workers' mobile phones. Use of cellular telephones and transmission of pathogens by medical staff in New York and Israel. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. Are we aware how contaminated our mobile phones with nosocomial pathogens? Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. Ustun C, Cihangiroglu M. Health care workers' mobile phones: a potential cause of microbial cross-contamination between hospitals and community. J Occup Environ Hyg. Bacterial colonization of rings and cell phones carried by health-care providers: are these mobile bacterial zoos in the hospital?
Trop Doct. J Dent Educ. PubMed Google Scholar. Nosocomial pathogens associated with the mobile phones of healthcare workers in a hospital in Anyigba, Kogi state, Nigeria. J Epidemiol Glob Health. Al-Abdalall A. Isolation and identification of microbes associated with mobile phones in Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia. J Family Community Med. Med J Cairo Univ. Bacterial flora on cell phones of health care providers in a teaching institution. Strict adherence to infection control, such as hand washing, is advocated.
Abstract Background: Mobile phones are indispensable accessories both professionally and socially but they are frequently used in environments of high bacteria presence. Substances Coagulase.