Certainly, no correlation could be established between people getting infected because of the contaminated uniforms of hospital workers. However, the presence of bacteria drew attention to the seriousness of the situation.
A study was conducted as part of a vast research program that looked into various aspects of infections. Medical workers and doctors voluntarily participated in the study. All participants were responsible and educated people and aware of the importance of medical hygiene and cleanliness.
What were the conclusions?
According to the medical experts, the presence of deadly bacteria in hospital wear is alarming. It indicates that even if hospitals follow what they refer to as state-of-the-art cleanliness norms, there is always a possibility of an outbreak of diseases caused due to infected hospital wear.
A few recommendations to limit the possibility of infection:
- A further stringent hygiene policy should be followed by hospitals.
- It should be mandatory for medical staff to change their uniforms daily.
- In many hospitals, there is an in-house laundry facility. In case it is an outsourced facility, medical staff should be allowed to use it.
- Medical staff or doctors who are exposed to bodily fluids should be provided plastic aprons.
- The uniform should be short-sleeved for operational staff as well as doctors. This reduces the risk of cloth-borne infections.
- The research covered a wide variety of bacteria species and strains that resist antibiotics and are capable of spreading various deadly ailments, including some which were highly contagious or fatal. As per statistics, about 20 percent of the uniforms worn by nurses and around 6 percent of the uniforms worn by doctors were infected. Samples unworn uniforms from the hospital laundry were not infected at all. More than 60 percent staff reported a daily change of uniform and about 80 percent of them had an excellent track record of personal hygiene.
What was the outcome?
It turned out to be quite horrifying that hospital wear can be a source of deadly infections. Since it is quite normal for medical professionals to carry uniforms to home, there is a great risk for their family members as well. Hence, it is important that hospitals implement the recommendations given by the respective research agency. Experts say that it is possible to reduce the risk of contamination by following better hand hygiene and making changes in the design of the uniform. Short sleeves and plastic coating in the abdominal region can reduce the risk significantly. An on-site laundry facility will also make it convenient to change uniforms in case there is a doubt of contamination.
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