Are Stethoscopes, Coats, and Pagers Potential Sources of Healthcare Associated Infections?

Harbir S. Arora, Deepak Kamat, Swati Choudhry, Basim I. Asmar, Nahed Abdel-Haq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We conducted a study to determine the rate of bacterial colonization of stethoscopes, coats, and pagers of residents at a pediatric residency training program as compared to that of badges, sleeves, and pagers of non-patient care staff (control group). Among 213 cultures obtained from 71 residents, 27 potential pathogens were isolated from 22 residents (27/213, 12.7%) as compared to 10 potential pathogens out of 162 samples obtained from 54 control participants (10/162, 6.2%) (P =.0375). The most common pathogen isolated from residents and control participants was methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). The source of positive cultures among the residents was the stethoscope (8/22, 36.3%), pager (8/22, 36.3%), and coat sleeve (11/22, 50%). The rates of colonization with potential pathogens were higher among residents than control participants and about 12% of residents’ stethoscopes, coats and pagers were colonized with bacterial pathogens. These are potential sources of nosocomial transmission of pathogenic organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Pediatric Health
StatePublished - 2020


  • Stethoscope
  • coat
  • healthcare associated infections
  • pager

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics


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