Background: This study was conducted for assessing the role of medical devices such as thermometers, stethoscopes, and cuffs in transmission of nosocomial infections in Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Kashan, Iran in 2004.
Materials and Methods: This Descriptive study was carried out on 166 medical devices such as thermometers, stethoscopes, and cffs used in various wards of Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Kashan, Iran,2004. Samples were taken randomly from the outer surfaces of the medical instruments by use of sterile swabs poured in sterile saline. The samples immediately were transported to the microbiology laboratory of Kashan University of Medical Sciences. In laboratory, the samples were inoculated in blood agar and Eosin-Methylene Blue agar and preserved in 37° C. Identification of the isolated colonies were based on Gram staining, and biochemical standard tests such as indole, methyl red, vogesproskaur, citrate (IMViC), oxidase, and β-glucoronidase. Antimicrobial susceptibility of the isolates gram negative bacilli were performed by the disk diffusion method according to standards developed by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCL).
Results: The overall contamination rate was 65.7% (109 out of 166). The contamination rates for cuffs and stethoscope at the various wards were 100%, and the overall for alcohol used as disinfectant of thermometers were 50%. The highest contamination rates of alcohol were seen in women in surgery ward about 100%. From the total 124 isolated micro-organisms, the gram positive cocci were 57 cases (%46), gram negative bacilli 33 (%26.6 ), gram negative cocci 14 (%11.3), gram positive bacilli 11 (%8.9), yeast 6 (%4.8), and fungi 3 (%2.4). The antibacterial susceptibility test were done on isolated gram negative bacilli and resistance to the first and third generations of cephalosporin, ciprofloxacin, and co-trimoxazole were notable
Conclusion : According to high contamination of medical devices with gram negative bacilli and their role in spread of nosocomial infections, the use of private thermometer per patients or use of disposable cover for rectal thermometers, and periodic disinfection of the stethoscope and cuffs are reasonable ways to reduce the risk of transmission.