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Docs told to shed ties, white coats

[Posted: Wed 22/02/2006]

Doctors have been told to stop wearing ties and white coats as it is feared that they could spread 'superbugs' such as MRSA.

A new report says neckties are potentially major sources of infection, as they are seldom washed and can make contact with wounds, causing infection.

The study also found that the traditional doctor's white coat is not a necessary item of hospital clothing, as they are often not washed regularly and provide a surface on which bacteria can multiply.

The British Medical Association report advises doctors and nurses to abandon neckwear, coats and other clothes that do not have a particular function in favour of freshly laundered, simple outfits.

Guidelines drawn up by the BMA have also stressed the importance of basic hygiene for healthcare staff, such as hand-washing and keeping equipment clean.

The report said ties can be particularly dangerous sources of infection, as they are usually not very clean, are touched regularly by their wearers, and can dangle into wounds.

The BMA says that while ties and white coats have been the traditional garb of doctors, a more casual look for healthcare staff is safer.

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  brendan(TXB33334)  Posted: 22/02/2006 12:50
  Val  Posted: 22/02/2006 14:27
Bring back the bow tie as worn by many professors and doctors!
  the mad nurse  Posted: 22/02/2006 16:42
Cant believe I'm saying this but there was a lot to be said about the way hospitals were run years ago where cleanliness was next to godliness!!!!!!!!! As a nurse you wore you're uniform to work but left the hospital in own clothing to minimise the risk of infection...If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense..Nurses could be involved in very infectious procedures therefore clothes should either be disposable or not worn outside the hospital....Dont know about the medics, they always seemed to do their own thing.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/02/2006 09:27
Nursing staff in my local hospital do not change when going to and from work. Surely this is not hygenic? But who will criticise them?
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/02/2006 21:31
I made similar comments to what was discussed in this article, several months back re: an mrsa article. There are several precautions to take, if you are able: Make sure the dr/nurse that is about to touch you has washed his hands upon entering the room; if the dr about to examine your child has just touched his tie, insist he use some Purell hand sanitizer; insist they wipe the stethescope with an alcohol pad before listening to your loved ones heart; under no circumstances let a health care provider do any invasive proceedure (draw blood/insert an IV) if they are not wearing gloves ESPECIALLY if they have fake nails-if someone has fake nails and no gloves and you have open wounds (ie: recent surgery, bed sores) don't let this person touch you-pathogens colonize in these things, more than native nails,they breed and can cause an outbreak of several serious illnesses. Common occurance-how many times have you taken your child to a well child check, only to bring him back a week later with an upper respritory infection or some other illness? Ultimately, your health care is in your own hands.
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