John Sajan Kurien 1 , Sandeep Abraham Varghese 2 , Sansho Elavumkal Ulahannan 3 , Aneesh Joseph 4 , Toney Jose
BACKGROUND Hospital-associated infections are an important cause of patient morbidity and mortality. Cell phones and pens are ubiquitous accessories of doctors and other Healthcare Workers (HCWs) in a hospital as well as outside for various purposes. But, they may serve as reservoirs of infection allowing the transportation of the contaminating bacteria to many different clinical environments. The aim of the study is to find out the prevalence of various bacteria in mobile phones and pens of doctors and other staff working in operation theatres of Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, for a period of one year. MATERIALS AND METHODS 400 samples of microbiological swabs were collected from pens and mobile phones of medical personnel working in the operation theatres of Government Medical College, Kottayam, for one year. If growth was present in cultures, identification of organisms and sensitivity to routine antibiotics was checked by disc diffusion method according to the organism isolated. RESULTS About 2/3rd of mobile phones and pens carried by healthcare workers inside operation theatres contained bacteria, of which, skin commensals prevailed in number. Presence of faecal microflora and multidrug-resistant bacteria detected in some of the samples are alarming. CONCLUSION This study emphasises the need for creating awareness among healthcare workers regarding the role of mobile phones and pens as carriers in transmission of nosocomial infections.