Have you ever heard of MRSA (pronounced MERSA)? MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a dreaded bacteria that people can pick up in hospitals and it is unfortunately drug-resistant. While it has long been protocol for doctors and healthcare professionals to wash their hands between patients, that is simply not enough to protect against MRSA. According to a recent study, the diaphragm portion of your doctor's stethoscope that touches a patient's skin is a breeding ground for bacteria and a hot spot for MRSA. Since there are no medical guidelines requiring stethoscopes be cleaned between patient visits, it's an extremely wise idea to suggest the doctor disinfect his/her stethoscope before using it on you.
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