ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 435-438

Study of the role of mobile phones in the transmission of Hospital acquired infections


1 Department of Microbiology, Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 2nd M.B.B.S Student, Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Kalpana M Angadi
Department of Microbiology, Pad. Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune - 18, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: STS ICMR project., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.135256

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Nosocomial infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality. The inanimate objects like mobile phones in the immediate environment of the patients can act as a source of infection. Infectious agents from patients can be transferred on to the hands of the health care workers and in the absence of adequate hand hygiene practices can be transferred on to the mobile phones during their use and this can serve as a vehicle for the transmission of nosocomial pathogens from one patient to another. Aim: To evaluate the role of mobile phones in the transmission of pathogens by health care workers in health care centres. Materials and Methods: Mobile phones and hands were tested for micro-organisms before and after application of a disinfectant. A total of 60 mobile phones were tested for micro organisms, 30 from the health care workers (study group) and 30 from relatives of patients attending Out Patient Department (control group). Swabs taken from their hands were also cultured. Results: Hands of all the health care workers and 27 mobile phones showed microorganisms on them. Only Staphylococcus aureus was isolated. The hands and mobile phones of 11 health care workers were contaminated with Methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was isolated from the hands of 24 (80%) and mobile phones of 16 (53.3%) health care workers. Ethyl alcohol was found to be 100% effective in disinfecting hands and mobile phones. Conclusions: To prevent the potential spread of infections through mobile phones, strict infection control practices, hand hygiene, and routine decontamination of mobile phones with alcohol should be advocated to prevent the spread of infection in the hospital settings.


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