January 17, 2023

Effect of bioburden reduction intervention on ICU nurses’ mobile phones

Editor's Note

This study led by nurse researchers at the School of Health Professions, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, finds that a disinfection routine measurably reduced surface contamination on mobile phones of ICU nurses.

Surface bioburden of personal mobile phones and shared phones of 30 ICU nurses was estimated with a luminometer, expressed in Relative Light Units (RLU), over 12 months after an intervention, which consisted of wiping the phone and its battery pack with a quaternary ammonium-based disinfecting wipe every 12 hours.

RLUs decreased from baseline to 12 months postintervention for personal phones (Geometric mean 497.1 vs 63.36) and for shared unit phones (Geometric mean 417.4 vs 45.90).

The disinfection method and routine used in this study may have implications for use in acute care settings to reduce the risk for infectious disease transmission, the researchers say.


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