Mobile phones of paediatric hospital staff are never cleaned and commonly used in toilets with implications for healthcare nosocomial diseases

Matthew Olsen, Anna Lohning, Mariana Campos, Peter Jones, Simon McKirdy, Rashed Alghafri, Lotti Tajouri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An ever-increasing number of medical staff use mobile phones as a work aid, yet this may pose nosocomial diseases. To assess and report via a survey the handling practices and the use of phones by paediatric wards healthcare workers. 165 paediatric healthcare workers and staff filled in a questionnaire consisting of 14 questions (including categorical, ordinal and numerical data). Analysis of categorical data used non-parametric techniques such as the Chi-squared test. Although 98% of respondents (165 in total) report that their phones may be contaminated, 56% have never cleaned their devices. Of the respondents that clean their devices, 10% (17/165) had done so with alcohol swabs or disinfectant within that day or week; and an additional 12% respondents (20/165) within that month. Of concern, 52% (86/165) of the respondents use their phones in the bathroom, emphasising the unhygienic environments in which mobile phones/smartphones are constantly used. Disinfecting phones is a practice that only a minority of healthcare workers undertake appropriately. Mobile phones, present in billions globally, are therefore Trojan Horses if contaminated with microbes and potentially contributing to the spread and propagation of micro-organisms as per the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12999
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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