Cleveland Clinic calls out infection control risk of germy cell phones

Physicians, nurses and other caregivers are constantly thinking about infection risks and keeping a clean environment for patients — and, like most people, are likely to use cell phones on a daily basis.

"Even with the ample awareness that nurses and other caregivers have regarding our potential to be a source of infection, almost every one of us carries a host of possible infection-causing germs in our pockets on a daily basis," according to a post on Consult QD, a blog for healthcare professionals from Cleveland Clinic. That item? Cell phones.

A 2008 study cited in the blog post found that cell phones harbor 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle.

To help prevent the spread of infection from these germ-carrying havens, the Cleveland Clinic "aim[s] to remind our nurses and other caregivers to take time at least once a day to wipe down personal devices to remove any visible fingerprints with a damp cloth," according to the post.

To remove the threat entirely, the system encourages nurses to not bring personal devices into clinical workspaces at all.

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