A study that was carried out at a hospital in Jerusalem has found that more than 60% of Doctor’s coats and nurses uniforms tested positive for disease-causing bacteria including MRSA.
63% of the 60 doctors and 75 nurses at the Shaar Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem whose uniforms were tested at least one spot sampled on their outer clothing carried pathogenic bacteria.
These bacteria were isolated from half of the total of 235 samples taken from participants’ coats, uniforms and scrub suits, the researchers reported in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.
Most of the participants indicated that they changed their uniforms daily and that their clothing’s hygiene was fair or better. The frequency of bacterial transmission from healthcare workers’ clothing to patients is unknown nevertheless the study called for daily uniform changes, adequate laundering, plastic aprons for situations in which workers may contact body fluids and strict hand hygiene.
Speaking today, healthcare Solicitor, Liam Moloney, called upon the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to carry out similar studies in Irish hospitals. “Wearing short sleeve coats or even having doctors discard their white coats could further reduce the cloth born transmission of pathogens”, he said. “HIQA should immediately recommence their hygiene audits of Irish hospitals to increase patient safety and to give patients a choice as to whether to be treated in certain hospitals or not. Hospital administrators should also ensure that uniforms are regularly laundered and changed every day”.
“All hospital uniforms should be tested regularly for bacteria. Poor hygiene levels in hospitals can no longer be tolerated. Hospitals that fail to comply with high standards of hygiene should be investigated by HIQA and action programmes put in place to ensure standards are increased to acceptable levels”.
For further information contact Liam Moloney, Solicitor at:
Tel: 045 898000