Two New Studies Confirm Stethoscopes Pose Significant Risk of Infection That Novel Technology May Soon Address
November 12, 2018 – San Diego, CA. AseptiScope®, Inc. announces it is advancing its innovative medical device to reduce stethoscope contamination that two large U.S. studies, published last week, confirm pose a significant health risk. The two large clinical studies appearing in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) conclude that stethoscopes are often improperly or rarely disinfected. In the AJIC November 6 issue, investigators observed hand and stethoscope hygiene habits of 400 interactions between clinicians and patients in a large urban hospital in Houston, Texas. While disinfection stations and gloves were routinely used in hand hygiene, fewer than 1 in 5 stethoscopes were disinfected, with less than 4% of interactions conforming to CDC guidelines. As published in Friday’s AJIC, investigators observed 426 emergency room patient encounters at a San Diego, California based healthcare system and found stethoscope hygiene occurring in no more than 13% of patient interactions, though not necessarily in compliance with CDC guidelines.
According to investigators, with existing “technology limitations”, stethoscope hygiene is frequently neglected. “We know that stethoscopes and hands carry similar pathogen contamination levels, and stethoscopes can transfer these pathogens between patients,” said David Boulée, lead investigator in the AJIC study out of Texas. “However, an effective solution for this clinical dilemma, such as safe-to-touch wipes or a ‘‘no-touch’ dispenser system for an audiologically transparent single-use barrier’, is not readily available.”
In the fast-paced and highly intense emergency setting, investigators from the November 9 San Diego study suggest stethoscope hygiene is about more than just a quick wipe with alcohol. “At each patient encounter, clinicians should be reminded of stethoscope hygiene for hands and stethoscopes, and have access to a rapid, effective method to reduce transference of bacteria and other contaminants during the exam,” said Dr. Punam Chowdhury. “In our study, we observed some clinicians wrapping a glove over the stethoscope in an effort to reduce cross-contamination. This is a clear indication of a problem that needs a solution.”
Scott Mader, CEO of AseptiScope, Inc., a California based medical device company, believes they will soon have a solution to address this problem. “We are preparing to introduce the first touch-free, single use stethoscope barrier dispensing system. The AseptiScope DiskCoverTM System will provide clinicians a visible, rapid and affordable solution that applies a clean barrier directly to the stethoscope in a few seconds, permitting a timely, clean and effective examination with patients.” The AseptiScope DiskCover System is planned for release in 2019.
About AseptiScope, Inc.
AseptiScope is a privately funded San Diego, California based, clinical innovation company, formed in early 2016. The organization is founded and led by clinical innovation experts, leading medical researchers and practicing physicians. The AseptiScope mission is to design, develop, manufacture and commercialize novel solutions that ensure “Infection Protection for Clinician & Patient.” The company will introduce the first true and practical solution for the longstanding challenge of stethoscope contamination in 2019: The AseptiScope DiskCoverTM System.
AseptiScope is a registered trademark of AseptiScope Inc. DiskCover is a trademark of AseptiScope Inc.