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P386: Bacterial contamination of health care provider’s pagers in a tertiary care hospital


In this era where nosocomial infections became a great threat to all tertiary care hospitals; we need to evaluate all modifiable risk factors for such morbidity. Medical instruments were thoughts to be involved in transmitting nosocomial isolates.


Health care providers (HCP) were chosen randomly in our tertiary care center, and had to fill a questionnaire and submit their bleep to be swabbed and serially numbered and sent to our microbiology lab to be cultured for 48 hours.


120 pagers of 120 health care providers in our hospital were swabbed. The hundred twenty HCPs are classified as physician (84.2%, respiratory therapist (5.0%), patient educator (3%), nurses (7.5%) and clinical pharmacist (0.8%) 23.3% of physicians belong to Pediatric Department, while 19.2% from the Department of Medicine; 15.1% of physicians were from Department of Surgery. According from the questionnaire, 62.5% of the subjects never disinfect their pagers while 5% did disinfect their pagers daily. The microbiologic data showed that all pagers were contaminated by bacteria except two (1.7%). The leading organism was coagulase-negative staphylococcus at 84.2%; 2 pagers were contaminated by fungal elements (1.7%); 1 pager was contaminated by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (0.8%).


Pagers as well as other instruments used for patient’s health can be contaminated by bacteria. A protocol supposed to be made to disinfects, pagers, and all HCPs are supposed to be taught this protocol.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Al Otaibi, N., Alothman, A., Mohajer, K. et al. P386: Bacterial contamination of health care provider’s pagers in a tertiary care hospital. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 2 (Suppl 1), P386 (2013).

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