The "Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths" website has fifteen things you can do to prevent hospital acquired infection. Their second recommendation is to ask your doctor or nurse, BEFORE they touch you with a stethoscope, to clean the diaphragm (the flat surface of the stethoscope) with alcohol. Stethoscopes are often contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus and other dangerous bacteria such as MRSA.
Studies have shown that caretakers seldom take the time to clean the stethoscope between patients. Routine disinfection of stethoscopes between patients is recommended by the American Medical Association, and can save your life, or the life of a loved one.
Just do this one step and you can go a long way toward patient safety. We at the Bailey and Oliver Law Firm support the efforts fo the Committee to prevent these hospital acquired infections.