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When we think of the spread of infections in hospitals, we most often think of infections caused by surgical instruments, ventilators or IV lines. It often doesn’t occur to us that infectious germs are also spread by the use of common medical instruments, such as blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes and other items that are used on more than one patient. In fact, a recent found that, in an analysis of 300 hospital stethoscopes in Texas showed 87% to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria, yeasts and fungi.
Samvel Hmayakyan, MD, one of the most active family practice physicians at Glendale Adventist, has come up with a simple yet ingenious way to help prevent the spread of infection from the diaphragm of stethoscopes.
The solution is simple—a sterile, plastic cover similar to plastic wrap snaps into place easily over the diaphragm of the stethoscope, forming a tight seal. The patented dispensing method ensures that the product stays sterile as it is applied to the stethoscope. After examination of the patient, the cover slips off just as easily and is thrown away. When the physician or nurse moves to the next patient, a new cover is used.
“Patient-dedicated stethoscopes have been the go-to method for many hospitals, clinics and physician practices,” Dr. Hmayakyan said. “However, these stethoscopes are often inferior devices. With the stethoscope cover, you can use your own stethoscope without having to disinfect it between patients.”
Dr. Hmayakyan’s product has been patented world-wide and will soon be mass-produced for hospitals in the U.S. and around the world.
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