In our age of instant communication, few groups have benefited more from cellphones than doctors. Yes, pagers are still widely used, but often a quick text or a phone call can say a lot more than a message on a pager can. While there are innumerable benefits of doctors carrying cellphones, there are also drawbacks — and not the obvious one, it being a distraction. Rather, doctors could be causing their patients to become sicker by carrying their phones around the hospital, especially in the operating room.

A recent study has shown that cellphones are essentially petri dishes, carrying harmful bacteria wherever they go. More than 50 doctors were observed in the study. For the initial test, it was shown that more than 80 percent of them had phones carrying bacteria and other pathogens. Disinfecting the devices took that number below 10 percent, but it did not take long for even the cleanest phones to pick up harmful hitchhikers again. After a week, ¾ of all the “clean” cellphones were carrying bacteria again.

This is causing many patients to suffer a worsened medical condition. Many nosocomial infections, or those that happen in the hospital, could be prevented if doctors better understood how they are affecting the environment and patients around them. Though the study did not specify any solution to the problem, it seems logical that this kind of hospital negligence could be prevented by wiping down cellphones at least once day. If you suffered a nosocomial infection in an Ohio hospital, it is important to contact an expert attorney who can guide you through the process of claiming compensation.