While doctors and other medical professionals tend to put a great deal of emphasis on cleanliness and hand washing, a new study indicates that the number one tool that a doctors uses to interact with patients – a stethoscope – may actually hold more germs than his or her hands.
Surprisingly, the new report says that a typical stethoscope is generally cleaned less than once a month – if it gets cleaned at all.
The University of Geneva research team who conducted the study found that stethoscopes often hold just as much bacteria as the palms of doctors’ hands with only the tips of the fingers holding more.
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You can also view this segment from Fox News' Sunday House Call for more information.
How to Clean a Stethoscope
- Remove the ear tips from the stethoscope.
- Mix together a cup of one-fifth antibacterial soap and four-fifths water. Put the ear tips into this solution and allow them to sit for five minutes.
- Remove the ear tips and rinse them off. Allow time for them to dry.
- Wipe all areas of the stethoscope with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipes.
- Put the ear tips back on the stethoscope when they are completely dry.
Read more at eHow.com.