Hospital personnel, including doctors and nurses could be concealing infection-causing organisms in their uniforms. A study conducted by a group of Israeli researchers and published in the American Journal of Infection Control, found alarmingly high levels of disease-causing orgasms in doctors’ and nurses’ clothing.
The Israeli researchers tested swabs taken from 75 registered nurses and 60 doctors at a hospital in Jerusalem. What they found was shocking. At least 50% of the samples tested positive for pathogens. About 53% of the uniforms yielded dangerous infection-causing bacteria. What’s worse 11% of the organisms that were found on the clothing, were the most dangerous kind – resistant to multiple antibiotics, like the MRSA bacterium.
Doctors’ clothing yielded lower amounts of bacteria than nurses’ uniforms, with 60% of doctors’ uniforms testing positive for pathogens, and 65% of nurses’ uniforms testing positive for bacteria. The researchers are quick to point out that patients in a hospital may not be in direct contact with nurses’ or doctors’ uniforms, and therefore, chances of cross-contamination or infection may be low. However, these patients are already in a weakened state with fragile immune systems, and infection risks are simply too high to ignore. Besides, there may be risks to the general public when doctors and nurses decide to do grocery shopping in their hospital scrubs.
All that’s required for these risks to be eliminated is for doctors and nurses to change their clothing every day. That doesn’t seem to be happening as often as Indiana medical malpractice lawyers would hope. 29% of the clothing that was not changed every day had traces of organisms, while just 8% of clothing that was changed every day had traces of bacteria.
Changing into clean uniforms every day would help reduce contamination risks. Additionally, doctors and nurses must continue to follow proper hand washing procedures.