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The role of clothing in the spread of hospital acquired infections

The role of clothing in the spread of hospital acquired infections

'Hospital-acquired infections are a common problem affecting about one in 25 patients, according to the CDC. It is widely known that hand washing and surface cleaning are important strategies to reduce the risk of disease transmission in healthcare facilities, but the role of clothing is not well understood.


"Healthcare workers really need to be aware that not only can they become contaminated from their patients, but simply going into the hospital room poses a risk as well."


These findings underscore the importance of following basic infection control procedures. These include hand-washing after all patient encounters and regular cleaning of patients' rooms, and for some patients more stringent contact precautions such as wearing disposable gloves and gowns are also indicated.


It also emphasizes how little we know about transmission dynamics and there's still so much to learn."'

Full article:

Chaya Venkat of CLL Topics/Updates fame attributes the death of her husband to an infection transmitted by a doctor's tie...


4 Replies

Personally, I'd like to see a proper laundry service in each hospital.

Staff should be required to change their clothes in a locker room before and after each shift. Uniforms and footwear should NEVER leave the hospital grounds.

People/relatives who visit the wards should be required to wear overshoes before they get anywhere near a ward.

Hospital cleaners should be treated as valued important employees and not low paid outsourced lackeys.



Hi ygtgo

I cannot agree more. You are singing the song my partner and I have been singing for years. We more mature folks remember when nurses were certainly not allowed to wear their uniforms home, picking up bacteria on buses trains etc. Uniforms had to be cleaned and pressed and ward cleanliness was paramount and closely monitored.

I would not wish to return to the days of inflexible rules, but we Cll'ers need to be cleanliness and contact aware should we be hospitalised.

I was in the hospital restaurant eating lunch prior to an appointment and was appalled to see a group of nurses sharing a table, one of whom was happily coughing her germs into the air with no thought of the infections she was passing on. Fortunately I think most of our nurses are more careful. Well at least I hope so.


Terrific photo Neil


Unsterile environments in everyday clinics with sick patients crammed into waiting rooms can be a hive of infections - so I always make a point of changing my clothes when I return home to avoid spreading germs that have been coughed or sneezed etc. over me whilst there.

I'm not a fastidious person but this is perhaps a useful precaution especially for others in the household.

(I'm aware that as a patient I may be one of those who unconsciously spread my germs too!)


If the waiting room is full I give the desk my cell number and wait in my car or in another area until I am called. Cuts down on some of the germs.


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