News | November 04, 2007

Disposable Stethoscope Cover Helps Reduce Spread of Infectious Diseases

November 5, 2007 - Microtek Medical Holdings Inc. today released StethoClean, a new device that offers clean, disposable stethoscope covers to protect each patient from germs and infectious disease.

StethoClean attaches to the stethoscope, making 20 single-use stethoscope covers easily accessible to healthcare professionals as it travels with them throughout the day.

According to the Annals of Emergency Medicine, stethoscopes carry disease from one patient to another, spreading everything from the common cold and flu to life-threatening hospital superbugs, such as MRSA and other staph infections. Consumer Reports on Health (September 2007) recommends that hospital staff wash their hands and clean their stethoscopes before examination to help prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

“As a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon, I am acutely aware that any post- operative infections can be deadly,” said Dr. Donald Buckley, a cardiovascular surgeon based in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I believe that covering the stethoscope will provide protection for both the patient and the healthcare worker. Doctors will use it because we care about our patients and it is the right thing to do. Patients also will demand it. The time has arrived that implementation will become as universal as the use of disposable gloves. StethoClean is a much needed addition to the universal precautions that are now utilized during patient care in the clinical care setting.”

Jennifer Giroux, registered nurse and mother of nine, invented StethoClean to protect her own children and patients from dirty stethoscopes.

“I know how busy doctors and nurses get, running from patient to patient,” Giroux explains. “There just isn’t time to stop and wipe the stethoscope off between each patient. I was concerned about where the stethoscope had been before it was touching my own kids.”

Giroux, concerned about the spread of bacteria, viruses, germs and infectious disease by carriers of infection that touch the healthy and sick alike, secured the patent for StethoClean in 2003 and paired with Microtek in 2005.

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