1 in 3 EMS stethoscopes carry MRSA, study finds

March 18, 2009 8:04:57 AM PDT
A ride in an ambulance could expose you to a potentially dangerous superbug. A small study found that roughly one in three stethoscopes carried by emergency medical service providers harbors the MRSA superbug.

Investigators checked 50 stethoscopes provided by EMS professionals in an emergency department. They found 16 stethoscopes were colonized with MRSA. Sixteen of the EMS personnel could not remember the last time their stethoscope had been cleaned. Others thought it had been one to seven days since the last cleaning.

With a recent cleaning, the odds of MRSA colonization dropped significantly.

This report is in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care.