ABSTRACT: Inadequately performed hand hygiene and non-disinfected surfaces are two reasons why the keys and mouse-buttons of laptops could be sources of microbial contamination resulting consequently in indirect transmission of potential pathogens and nosocomial infections. Until now the question has not been addressed whether the ventilation-blowers in laptops are actually responsible for the spreading of nosocomial pathogens. Therefore, an investigational experimental model was developed which was capable of differentiating between the microorganisms originating from the external surfaces of the laptop, and from those being blown out via the ventilation-blower duct. Culture samples were taken at the site of the external exhaust vent and temperature controls were collected through the use of a thermo-camera at the site of the blower exhaust vent as well as from surfaces which were directly exposed to the cooling ventilation air projected by the laptop. Control of 20 laptops yielded no evidence of microbial emission originating from the internal compartment following switching-on of the ventilation blower. Cultures obtained at the site of the blower exhaust vent also showed no evidence of nosocomial potential. High internal temperatures on the inner surfaces of the laptops (up to 73°C) as well as those documented at the site of the blower exhaust vent (up to 56°C) might be responsible for these findings.
GMS Krankenhaushygiene interdisziplinär. 01/2010; 5(2).