stethoscopes and infection control

Stethoscopes and infection control

Stethoscopes and infection 

stethoscope infection risk


It has long been known that dirty stethoscopes may be transmitting bugs between patients in hospitals or GP surgery. It used to be very rare that a doctor or nurse would clean the stethoscope, until recent years when hospital acquired antibiotic resistant infection became more widespread and the transmission risk posed by stethoscopes became apparent.

During these unprecedented times of large numbers of patients in hospital with Covid-19 Coronavirus infection, it is important to make sure that a doctor or nurses stethoscope is not carrying and transmitting Covid-19 from patient to patient, and from patient to healthcare worker.

What are infection control stethoscopes

Infection control stethoscopes

  • Infection control stethoscopes are disposable single patient use stethoscopes that are kept with a single patient and then disposed of when they are no longer required
  • They are usually single head stethoscopes
  • They are an ideal cheap stethoscope for use on inpatients with confirmed Coronavirus Covid-19 infection or for use in emergency assessment centres for suspected cases
  • Infection control stethoscopes are available to buy online in bulk packs of 10 single head stethoscopes

How to minimise risk of transmission via stethoscopes

Currently most doctors and nurses are cleaning their own stethoscopes after each use using an alcohol wipe, to reduce the risk of infection being carried on the stethoscope.

By using a single stethoscope per patient the risk of infection being transmitted from patient to patient is reduced further.

Are there any disadvantages to using infection control stethoscopes

  • The auscultation with an infection control stethoscope is not as good as with a Littmann stethoscope but for most uses it is good enough.
  • It would not be good at distinguishing between different heart murmurs
  • The stethoscope needs to be disposed of into the clinical waste after it is no longer required by that patient.

Contact us for wholesale and NHS orders for infection control stethoscopes

You can buy bulk packs of infection control stethoscopes online through this website in our wholesale section under wholesale stethoscopes.

For larger wholesale stethoscope orders, or for NHS purchase orders for stethoscopes please contact our trade team.

To place an NHS stethoscope order please e-mail our trade team

Wholesale and bulk packs of stethoscopes to buy online

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