Ties can spread superbugs
Docs should stop wearing ties and white coats to work because they might be responsible for spreading deadly hospital superbugs, says a report.Updated: Feb 20, 2006 23:55 IST
Doctors should stop wearing ties and traditional white coats to work because they might be responsible for spreading deadly hospital superbugs, according to a report on Monday.
The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents three-quarters of the country's doctors, said ties performed no beneficial function in treating patients and, as they were rarely washed, were a potential bug haven.
In Britain alone, up to 5,000 people every year are killed by hospital infections such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), costing the state-funded National Health Service as much as 1 billion pounds a year, the BMA said.
Washing hands properly was the most important action medical staff could take to help stop the spread of the so-called superbugs.
However other steps, such as doctors abandoning ties and other "functionless" clothing, could also help minimise the risk, said Peter Maguire, deputy chairman of the BMA's board of science.
"Hand-washing, wearing clothes that minimise the spread of infection such as clean, closely woven cotton, and stopping wearing ... functionless clothing such as ties will make a huge difference," Maguire added.
First Published: Feb 20, 2006 23:55 IST