Background: Cell phone use has become common in areas of the hospital, including the operating room. The purpose of this study was to document the frequency of bacterial contamination on the cell phones of orthopaedic surgeons in the operating room and to determine whether a standardized disinfecting protocol decreased the rate of bacterial contamination and the amount of organic material. Methods: Orthopaedic attending and resident cell phones were swabbed on the front and back in the operating room with adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence to quantify organic material contamination and culture swabs to evaluate bacterial contamination. Adenosine triphosphate was quantified with use of relative light units. One photon of light was emitted for each molecule of adenosine triphosphate. Thresholds of 250 and 500 relative light units were used. The phones were cleaned with a cleaning wipe and were retested.

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