Accidentally wandered into this year old story from what was then MSNBC: Hospital garb harbors nasty bacteria, study says.
The story discusses something that is nearly always on my mind when I hear discussions of hospital acquired infections – scrubs. I am amazed, for example, at how many people from the UC Davis Veterinary School/Hospital (which is near my lab) wander around in their scrubs. They go to seminars. They go the the aptly named “Scrubs” cafeteria. They bike around campus. And more. And I have seen similar behavior at many hospitals. What gives? It seems, well, dubious to do this.
The article I reference above is inconclusive but does show that others are concerned about this issue too.
Many news stories also report on this issue – every once in a while. Examples (some of which were related to the one I reference above, some of which are separate story lines):
- Medical Scrubs Harbor Dangerous Bugs, Study Finds | Nurses …
- Scrubs vs. white coats: equal opportunity bacteria spreaders …
- Opinion: Hospital Scrubs’ Deadly Mess – WSJ.com
- Scrubs: Mass transit for bacteria? | Scope Blog
- Contaminated Scrubs Infect Patients With Deadly Bacteria – Vold LLC.
- Could Your Scrubs be Making Your Patients Sick? – NurseZone
- Curious About Germs On Hospital Scrubs « CBS Boston
- New Study Reveals Scrubs are Carriers of Deadly Bacteria
- Study Suggests Antimicrobial Scrubs May Reduce Bacteria
- Bacteria on Scrubs by Time of Day on StatCrunch
- Bacteria and Scrubs – Active Woman
- Hospital workers wearing germs on their scrubs | TribLIVE
- Nurses: What Germs are you Taking Home with You?
- Study Shows Bacterial Contamination Associated With Home …
- Hospital Scrubs are a Dangerous Fashion Statement
And there are a variety of research articles on the topic too
- Comparison of bacteria on new, disposable, laundered, and – NCBI
- The bacterial contamination of surgical scrubs.
- VCU Study Suggests Use of Antimicrobial Scrubs May Reduce …
I personally think that scrubs are treated way way too casually by many – in animal and human care situations. Yes, it might be a pain for people to change before heading out into the public domain but in this case it seems that change is likely to be good. Regardless, it seems that clothing as a vector for microbe movement is an important aspect of studies of microbes in the built environment.