If you are a health care worker, it is important to sterilize your stethoscope before each use. With all of the bacteria that is present in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities, it is essential to take this extra step in protecting yourself and your patients. There are a few different ways that you can sterilize your stethoscope, and the method you choose will depend on the materials that your stethoscope is made of. Below, we will outline the most common methods for sterilizing stethoscopes.
If you are going to disinfect your stethoscope, you should wipe it with a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution. If you want to clean your stethoscope, do not use hand sanitizer because there are additives that can damage it. If you are going to submerge your stethoscope in liquid, do not do so.
Do Stethoscopes Need Sterilization?
After each patient assessment, clinicians should disinfect their stethoscopes with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes to reduce the risk of patient-to-patient contamination, similar to how we wash our hands between patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that all medical devices, including stethoscopes, should be wiped down before being used. This ensures the safety of both the patient and the healthcare team. A contaminated pair of stethoscopes can contribute to the transmission of hospital-acquired infections by providing an entry point for pathogenic microorganisms. They can reduce the risk of cross-contamination if the surfaces between patients are properly sanitized.
Why Don’t Most Doctors Sterilize Their Stethoscopes?
The answer to this question is that most doctors do not sterilize their stethoscopes prior to examining patients. In order to determine just how many physicians disinfect their stethoscopes before an exam, a study was carried out. A very small percentage of doctors do, according to the study. According to the study, only 2.5% of physicians disinfect their stethoscopes prior to examining patients. As a result, the vast majority of physicians do not sterilize their stethoscopes prior to an examination.
Can A Stethoscope Be Cleaned?
Tunable diaphragms, bell sleeves that are not chilled, and ear tips can all be cleaned. We recommend using 70% isopropyl alcohol or mild soapy water to clean the parts of a stethoscope. Before reassembling the parts and surfaces, you should thoroughly clean them.
After every patient assessment, a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe is recommended for disinfecting a stethoscope. This procedure removes organic material, which is usually blood or secretions in the case of a stethoscope. If stubborn residue persists, the solution can be removed on a regular basis by deep cleaning. By removing tunable eartips and diaphragms from the chest piece, you can achieve this. We recommend that the stethoscope be kept out of any liquid, not immersed in a liquid, subjected to a sterilization process, or subjected to extreme heat, cold, solvents, or oils. It is possible that some patients will require additional care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 25 patients in a hospital stays develops an infection.
When used in conjunction with 70% isopropyl alcohol, an effective way to reduce the number of contaminants on medical equipment is to clean it with isopropyl alcohol. Warm water and mild detergent will clean the equipment after the alcohol has broken down the contaminates.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Stethoscope?
A majority of manufacturers recommend that you replace your stethoscope every two years, but as one user on allnurses.com forum puts it, “It would be in the best interest of the company to have us all purchase new equipment every two years.”
How To Prolong The Life Of Your Stethoscope
Why can’t you use a standard stethoscope? It is possible to use a spare ear piece. It is simple to replace the earpieces and use the stethoscope for a longer period of time. How frequently should a stethoscope be replaced? Most manufacturers recommend that you replace your stethoscope every two years. However, with proper care, you can prolong the life of your stethoscope beyond this point, but only if you keep your fingers crossed.
What Alcohol Is Used To Disinfect A Stethoscope?
The most commonly used method of disinfecting a stethoscope diaphragm is with a 70% isopropyl alcohol pad.
Stethoscope Storage And Cleaning Tips
If you are a typical person, you are most likely surrounded by more than one stethoscope. To store them is a difficult task. How do I keep a group of people organized? Here are some tips for keeping and cleaning your stethoscope: To keep your stethoscope safe, keep it inside the box it came in. When you do this, it will be easier to keep it organized and clean. It is a natural position in a cool, dry storage room, drawer, or locker. Use bleach solution on a case-by-case basis when necessary; however, isopropyl alcohol wipes or a disposable wipe with soap and water are sufficient for routine cleaning.