Review of mobile communication devices as potential reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens. J Hosp Infect

Academic Coloproctology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
The Journal of hospital infection (Impact Factor: 2.54). 02/2009; 71(4):295-300. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2008.12.009
Source: PubMed


Innovation in mobile communication technology has provided novel approaches to the delivery of healthcare and improvements in the speed and quality of routine medical communication. Bacterial contamination of mobile communication devices (MCDs) could be an important issue affecting the implementation of effective infection control measures and might have an impact on efforts to reduce cross-contamination. This review examines recent studies reporting bacterial contamination of MCDs, most demonstrating that 9-25% of MCDs are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. We examine previously investigated risk factors for MCD contamination in addition to work on surface decontamination of the device. Recommendations to reduce contamination risks include staff education, strict hand hygiene measures, guidelines on device cleaning and consideration of the restrictions regarding use of mobile phone technology in certain high risk areas, for example, operating theatres, intensive care units and burns units. Further work is required to evaluate the benefit of such interventions on MCD contamination and to determine whether a link exists between contamination and subsequent patient infection.

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Available from: Richard Brady, Jan 12, 2014
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    • "In addition to misuse of smartphone technology within the workplace, opponents also cite that they may pose a distraction within certain areas such as within theatres and local policies may need to be implemented to govern use.[29] [30] Although there are concerns whether these devices pose an additional risk of potentially pathogenic bacteria, this may be reduced by introducing comprehensive guidelines with regards to decontamination similar to that of medical equipment.[31] "
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    ABSTRACT: Hospitals are increasingly looking for mobile solutions to meet their information technology needs. Medical professionals are using personal mobile devices to support their work, because of limitations in both time and space. Our aims were to assess smartphone use amongst UK surgical doctors, the prevalence of medical app use and online activity. A thirteen-item questionnaire was derived to identify the proportion of surgical doctors of all grades using smartphones within the workplace. The following factors were evaluated: use of medical apps; use of online medical resources and if users were willing to use their own smartphone for clinical use. A total of 341 participants were surveyed with a complete response rate: 93.5% of which owned a smartphone, with 54.2% of those owning medical apps and 86.2% using their device to access online medical resources. Junior doctors were more likely to use medical apps over their senior colleagues (p = 0.001) as well as access the Internet on their smartphone for medical information (p < 0.001). Overall, 79.3% stated that they would be willing to use their smartphone for clinical use, which was found not to be dependent on seniority (p = 0.922). Online resources contribute significantly to clinical activities with the majority of smartphone users willing to use their own device. The information gathered from this study can aid developers to create software dedicated to the smartphone operating systems in greatest use and to potentially increase the use of a bring your own device (BYOD) scheme.
    Annals of Medicine and Surgery 04/2015; 4(2). DOI:10.1016/j.amsu.2015.03.004
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    • "In addition, Penicillium funiculosum, the spores of which can cause asthma and rhinitis, has been found on display screens [5]. In order to remove harmful bacteria and fungi, washing of product surfaces using isopropyl alcohol [5] [6] is encouraged, but this method does not confer long-lasting antimicrobial activity. Therefore, products with potent antimicrobial activity and durability have recently been produced by incorporating Ag and Cu ions into the glass surface as nanosized particles, thus providing a large specific surface area [7] [8] [9] [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the antimicrobial, cytotoxicity, skin irritation, and ion elution behaviors of glass doped with silver ions with respect to its application to electronic equipment such as phones and tablet screens. The microbes tested were Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Penicillium funiculosum. AgNO3 powder was spread on both sides of aluminosilicate glass, and it was heated to 250-280°C for 10min. Under optimized heating conditions (260°C, 10min), the antimicrobial activity of ion-exchanged glass against bacteria and fungi was over 99.9% after 24 weeks. The glass failed to irritate the skin of experimental animals and was considered non-cytotoxic. The maximum amount of Ag ions that were eluted from the ion-exchanged glass into drinking water was measured at 0.037±0.003μgL(-1), an amount which is several orders of magnitude below the standard limit of 0.1mgL(-1) in drinking water. Ag ion-exchanged glass had characteristics suitable for use as a display screen, such as a light transmittance of 90% and a surface roughness of 0.704nm. Our findings suggest that glass doped with silver ions is more hygienic than non-doped glass is, and should be applied to display screens and glassware. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Enzyme and Microbial Technology 03/2015; 72. DOI:10.1016/j.enzmictec.2015.02.008 · 2.32 Impact Factor
    • "Owing to their great general popularity, but also to an enhanced integration of touchscreen devices (smartphones, tablet PCs, etc.) into many clinical applications and communication processes (Manning et al. 2013), hygienic aspects of mobile communication devices in healthcare and clinical environments have been addressed by a considerable number of studies so far. A substantial amount of research has recently been reviewed by Brady and colleagues (Brady et al. 2009), demonstrating that 9–25 % of mobile communication devices are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Ulger and colleagues (Ulger et al. 2009) showed that 94.5 % of the mobile phones of healthcare workers from a university hospital were contaminated with bacteria, including significant proportions of antibiotic resistant species. "
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    ABSTRACT: Smartphone touchscreens are known as pathogen carriers in clinical environments. However, despite a rapidly growing number of smartphone users worldwide, little is known about bacterial contamination of smartphone touchscreens in non-clinical settings. Such data are needed to better understand the hygienic relevance of these increasingly popular items. Here, 60 touchscreens of smartphones provided by randomly chosen students of a German university were sampled by directly touching them with contact agar plates. The average bacterial load of uncleaned touchscreens was 1.37 ± 0.33 CFU/cm(2). Touchscreens wiped with commercially available microfiber cloths or alcohol-impregnated lens wipes contained significantly less bacteria than uncleaned touchscreens, i.e., 0.22 ± 0.10 CFU/cm(2) and 0.06 ± 0.02 CFU/cm(2), respectively. Bacteria isolated from cleaned and uncleaned touchscreens were identified by means of MALDI Biotyping. Out of 111 bacterial isolates, 56 isolates (50 %) were identified to genus level and 27 (24 %) to species level. The vast majority of the identified bacteria were typical human skin, mouth, lung, and intestinal commensals, mostly affiliated with the genera Staphylococcus and Micrococcus. Five out of 10 identified species were opportunistic pathogens. In conclusion, the touchscreens investigated here showed low bacterial loads and a species spectrum that is typical for frequently touched surfaces in domestic and public environments, the general health risk of which is still under debate.
    Folia Microbiologica 10/2014; 60(2). DOI:10.1007/s12223-014-0350-2 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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